Hertfordshire FA join forces with Police and local clubs to tackle homophobia
As part of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month, the Hertfordshire Football Association has teamed up with the Hertfordshire Constabulary and the county’s football clubs to make a stand against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in football.
With support from organisations such as Football v Homophobia, Stonewall and Kick It Out, the campaign encourages the reporting of homophobic incidents – which are hate crimes – to police, the Hertfordshire FA or also through the Kick It Out reporting app.
On Tuesday February 23, clubs from around the county sent players from their respective teams to take part in an event at Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium on Broadhall Way to demonstrate their support for the campaign.
To continue to spread the message, posters encouraging fans and players to report homophobic abuse will also be displayed around the football clubs.
George Wells, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Hertfordshire FA, said: “We are excited to be working alongside the Hertfordshire Constabulary to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia so that everyone can feel free to play, coach, officiate, administer or be involved in any role in football. An individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity should never be a barrier to participating in our national sport.
“In partnership with Hertfordshire’s football community we want to stamp out LGBT discrimination in football throughout the county and we strongly encourage those who experience it to report incidents to police, the Hertfordshire FA or through the online Kick It Out app.
“Over the past 15 years football has made enormous progress tackling discrimination from the grassroots to the highest levels of the nation’s favourite game, and we’re proud to champion equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in football.
Jason Thorne, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Deputy Lead for Sexual Orientation Inspector, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Hertfordshire FA and the county’s football clubs to be taking this stance against homophobia in the game and raising awareness that this form of abuse is a hate crime which should be reported to either police, the Football Authority, your local club or via the ‘Kick It Out’ app.
“It is fantastic that the county’s clubs have agreed to support this just cause by wearing the Rainbow Laces and I hope that this initiative will help us to work towards homophobia in football being a thing of the past in Hertfordshire.
“Everyone has a right to enjoy football without fear of being targeted for who they are or what they believe in.”
From: Hertfordshire FA