Sunday, 27 March 2011

Football clubs are workplaces too

The Justin Campaign inbox is full of emails from LGBT and equality campaigners from across the world.

This week we caught sight of this report and survey from Northern Ireland.

The report by the Rainbow Project claims that one in four gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people hide their sexuality while at work in the private sector.

The figure itself is shocking for part of the UK which, as a whole, appears to have really taken steps towards a more equal society in recent decades.

It also highlights the large steps we still need to take before people can feel proud and free to be themselves.

This is clearly apparent in the comments from Matthew McDermott, equality officer at the Rainbow Project and the report's author, who said: "This should enable government and employers to consider the measures they think appropriate to improve working life for all LGBT people."

The Justin Campaign welcomes the report and these comments.

But we also must make it clear that this covers not just offices, factories, shops and public buildings where the majority of the population head to earn their keep.

It also covers all professional and semi-pro football clubs too, both on and off the pitch.

We hope clubs across the country sit up and take note of what is a significant piece of research and ask "what can we do" for its employees.

Education workshops and picking up on negative language are just some of the simple steps that would very quickly improve things for LGBT people.

Creating an accepting culture behind the scenes is as integral as having a visible presence on the pitch in the ultimate aim of ridding homophobia from the beautiful game.

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