Wycombe Wanderers sign Government ‘Charter for Action’
Wycombe Wanderers has become the first football club to sign the Government ‘Charter for Action’.
The League One club has joined a growing list of supporters, including The Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football League, former England rugby union star Ben Cohen, and tennis legend Martina Navratilova, to back the campaign, which looks to address the issue of homophobia and transphobia in sport.
Matt Bloomfield, Wycombe’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) representative, said: “We’re delighted to sign the Government ‘Charter for Action’ because it’s important to tackle all forms of discrimination in the game that we all love. Homophobia and transphobia have no place in society and everybody should be able to enjoy sport, regardless of who they are and where they’ve come from.”
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “I congratulate Wycombe Wanderers on being the first football club to sign the Charter. They have joined 30 different sports and over 2000 other organisations and individuals who have pledged their support so far, and I applaud them for doing so. I encourage everyone who loves football to sign the Charter and help kick homophobia and transphobia out of sport for good.”
Bloomfield officially signed the Charter on behalf of the club prior to their One Game, One Community weeks of action fixture against Charlton Athletic at Adams Park yesterday (25 October).
The FA’s General Secretary, Alex Horne, commented: “The FA is committed to making football accessible for everyone and we’re proud to be a part of the Government Charter for Action. We’re delighted that Wycombe Wanderers have joined the growing number of members of the football family, including the Premier and Football Leagues, to sign the Charter. Wycombe Wanderers should be praised for being the first club to sign the Charter and I hope that clubs across the country follow their lead and help our sport make a stand against homophobic and transphobic abuse.”
The Charter is part of the government’s Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality: Moving Forward strategy and Jason Hall, founder of the Justin Campaign which was set up in 2008 in memory of Justin Fashanu, the world’s first openly gay professional footballer who took his own life in 1998, said: “It’s really good to see that Wycombe Wanderers have shown leadership in demonstrating their support for the Government’s Charter. It’s a pity though that other professional clubs have still yet to do the same. It really is time now for them all to take a stand along with Wycombe Wanderers and ‘get with the programme’.”
Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out, is urging supporters to remain vigilant when it comes to reporting abuse, seen or heard within the stadium: “Some of the worst excesses of abuse, where players, fans, even managers and coaches, were abused, harassed and attacked based on colour, race and religion, are now thankfully a thing of the past. But, pockets of unacceptable behaviour still exist. It’s the duty of everyone within the game to flag this up where and when it happens.
“It’s under the banner One Game, One Community which we tackle bigotry, intolerance and anti-social behaviour and its presence in our game. If something or someone is damaging your experience of football, share it with the appropriate governing body, club or contact Kick It Out where details will be taken, and acted upon.”
From The FA