Friday, 16 March 2012

The Justin Campaign Responds To John's Fashanu's Comments

The Justin Campaign is shocked and disappointed to hear John Fashanu’s recent comments about his brother’s sexuality.

John has stated that he does not believe that Justin was gay, but that he was simply ‘looking for attention’.

We do not know why John has decided to make these statements now, particularly coming not long after the airing of BBC3’s documentary “Britain’s Gay Footballers”, which was presented by John’s daughter, Amal. The programme, which also featured John, received a huge amount of positive feedback and goodwill.

However, we are not interested in judging John or his statements, as difficult as they are to digest. Instead, we want to use this situation to reiterate our respect for what Justin achieved in his life and to continue to honour his memory by keeping up the fight for equality for all in football.

The Justin Campaign has achieved so much over the past few years and this year, in particular, there have been some massive positive steps made by the football family in dealing with homophobia. Most recently, the third edition of the campaign’s annual Football v Homophobia initiative saw over 20 professional clubs, including eight from the Premier League, get involved.

Things are changing for the better, and we hope that we are slowly but surely moving towards a time when a footballer, if he chose to come out, would receive the kind of support and help which was so sadly lacking for Justin himself.

Founding Director of the Justin Campaign, Jason Hall, said: “Many years ago, Justin courageously decided to leave the closet well and truly behind him. While Justin may no longer be with us, we should continue to respect that and not attempt to put him back in it.”

You can read the article in question here -

For more information, please contact Alan Duffy – / 0781 4347566

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Campaigning for Change - BME LGBT contributors needed.

The Justin Campaign are looking for BME (Black and Minority Ethnic), LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans) people to contribute to a panel discussion at the JC Symposium: "Campaigning for Change" on their experience and perception of prejudice and discrimination in football on May 2nd.

Please email me: if you're interested.

Please be prepared to explain why you're interested in contributing to the panel and what relevant knowledge, skills or experience you can bring to the discussion.

Please share this message to your friends and networks.

Many thanks.

Monday, 5 March 2012

National survey launched in Scotland as part of Football v Homophobia

This article first appeared in Edinburgh's The Journal here.

A new campaign against homophobia in Scottish sport has been launched as part of international Football vs Homophobia Week.

Out for Sport is being run by the Equality Network as part of the biggest research to date on homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport, which includes a nationwide survey.

The results of the research will form a series of recommendations to the Scottish Government and national sports bodies in attempts to stamp out prejudice, and open the game up by encouraging greater participation among those from LGBT backgrounds.

The Justin Campaign welcomes the launch of this survey which should shed light into football's last taboo.

The passion those north of the border have for the football has never been in any doubt. But the attitudes of some of those involved in the game towards members of the LGBT community means is a genuine barrier to everyone taking part in this wonderful sport. Anything that can be done to bring about change, particularly at the highest levels of the game, must be welcomed.

To read more about the The Equality Network, which works for LGBT equality and human rights in Scotland, go to its website here.

Manchester United striker fined £15,000 for homophobic tweet

Manchester United striker Federico Macheda has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association for making homophobic comments on Twitter.

Newcastle United's Nile Ranger and Walsall's Manny Smith were fined £6,000 and £1,200 respectively by the FA on March 1 for the same charge but Macheda had requested a personal hearing, according to media reports.

The 20-year-old, who is on loan at QPR, is the latest in a series of professional footballers to be punished by the Football Association for remarks on the social media site.

We have already said our thoughts on this issue in previous blogs (see here). Such high-profile cases certainly help spread the message that homophobic behaviour from role models is not, and will not, be tolerated.

However how much this will hurt Macheda personally is questionable. The amount, which equates some people's annual salary, is about a week's wages in the world of a Premiership footballer.

We must hope that the message and the negative publicity around his behaviour will be enough of a deterrent to those that simply do not think twice before they tweet.