From February onwards, Southend United is supporting Football v Homophobia (FvH), an international campaign to combat homophobia in all its forms. And you can help.
FvH aims to tackle homophobia and prejudice against LGB&T (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans) people in football. The campaign is endorsed and supported by The FA, PFA, PL, FL, LMA and Kick It Out.
The aim of FvH is to make football safe and welcoming for everyone. Prejudice and discrimination in football affects us all, not just LGB&T people. Justin Fashanu, the first ever out gay male professional footballer suffered bullying and hostility after his sexual orientation became public. So too have heterosexual footballers such as Graeme Le Saux and Sol Campbell.
LGB&T people are everywhere. Sons, daughters, mums, dads, grand parents, aunties and uncles could be LGB&T. LGB&T people are in all walks of life. They are receptionists, doctors, bus drivers, physios, and yes, even footballers.
Throughout Football v Homophobia month and beyond, please help your club by standing up to prejudice and discrimination against LGB&T people in the game. Together we can make football a welcoming place for everyone.
If you witness any behaviour during a game, like anti-gay chanting and hateful or prejudiced language, speak to a nearby steward, the police, a club official, or contact The FA by phone 0800 085 0508 or email reportdiscrimination@ TheFA.com or Kick It Out on www.kickitout.org/report_it.php Remember, doing nothing only allows discrimination to get worse.
To further support the campaign, here are some other simple things you can do:
1. Show your support by following us on social media: @FvHtweets
2. Join the Football Fans v Homophobia network (& receive our quarterly fanzine) to keep up to date with all our events
3. Encourage your club, amateur team or friends to get involved (view case studies of good projects at www.footballvhomophobia.com)