Friday, 3 February 2017

Kilmarnock Fan Organisations Support Football v Homophobia

This month is the international month of ‘Football v Homophobia’ (FvH) and the fan organisations of Kilmarnock FC are proud to lend our support to the campaign. FvH is a campaign uniting fans, players, communities, grassroots teams, professional clubs and the Football Authorities in opposing homophobia and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in all aspects of football.

The FA, Premier League and Football League back their work and year round, FvH enables people to take action against prejudice and discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity in the sport, and to celebrate and welcome diversity in the game. This culminates in an international show of support in February to raise awareness of the issue and to showcase new and existing work.

Killie Trust Chairman Jim Thomson said:
"Equality and inclusion are important in every aspect of life, not least at football matches where people come together to enjoy the catharsis (or lack of) of watching their team play football. Encouraging diversity is especially important in these uncertain political times and we are delighted to support the work of Football v. Homophobia in whatever way we can."
Homophobia and LGBT discrimination has long been an issue in football. In 1990 the first professional football player in the UK to come out as gay, Justin Fashanu, had an intense struggle with his sexuality and how it was received in the game. More recently we have seen Robbie Rogers come out. Robbie retired briefly when he made the announcement about his sexuality. But now, following massive support from players and fans alike, he has returned to the game to play for LA Galaxy. Former Premier League player Thomas Hitzlsperger has also recently come out as gay. Both of these players have talked about the challenge of being gay and professional footballers, and the impact that anti-gay jokes and language can have on confidence and self-esteem.

The comments of SFA Performance Director Malky Mackay, the head of the English FA and the alarming findings of a BBC survey that around 8% of football fans would stop supporting their team if they signed a gay player, it shows that the world of football still has a long way to go to embrace diversity. With that in mind, we are proud to support FvH and the work that they do in our game.

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