Kick It Out statement in support of LGBT community following Orlando shooting
Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, has issued a statement in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, following Sunday’s shooting in Orlando.
The statement reads:
Kick It Out was devastated to hear of the shootings in the state of Florida at the weekend and joins with the numerous displays of solidarity from across the world since the atrocity to show support.
The organisation has long since said that hatred is on the rise in society, shown by Home Office figures, which reported at the end of March 2015 that reported hate crimes had increased by 18% from the previous year and under reporting is estimated to be six-fold.
Within football, discrimination reports to Kick It Out have risen during 2014/15 from all levels of the game by 38%.
This discrimination and hatred disfigures our society, creates conflict and divisiveness and ultimately is a destructive force. As the organisation, and many others have noted previously, football is in a privileged position in that it has power to transcend countries and nationalities and connect with people of all ages.
Football can counter effects of prejudice and discrimination with positive messages and has a responsibility to speak out on wider issues.
Pride In Football, the alliance of LGBT fan groups, commented:
“Looking ahead, the next two FIFA World Cups are being held in countries where LGBT rights are either severely restricted, as in Russia, or illegal as they are in Qatar. The safety of visiting supporters is a serious issue which must be considered.
“Football has a problem with LGBT people; there are no ‘Out’ players or officials in the Elite men’s game in England and little obvious inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans supporters in Stadia. A tribute to those who died in Pulse in Orlando is a tragic but apt opportunity for UEFA to show its commitment to the LGBT community.”