Whenever the media talks about homophobia in football, they focus on players coming out. Coming out is always an individual choice. But without doubt, it’s made easier when people know there’s support.
That’s why writer and broadcaster Andy West, former Leeds United Managing Director David Haigh and OutNews publisher Linda Riley are spearheading OutNews Global’s #ComeOut2Play campaign to help create an environment where gay and bisexual male players feel able to be themselves.
True football fans care only that their heroes play well, win matches and wear their team’s colours with pride.
True football fans care that their heroes can be themselves.
True football fans do not care who their heroes score with off the pitch, only that they score on it.
The #ComeOut2Play initiative includes a Thunderclap campaign where a short, simple message is simultaneously sent to all the social media friends and followers of everyone who signs up. This gives us a massive potential reach of several million people, sending a powerful message, which reads: “When a gay footballer comes out, I’ll support them. It doesn’t matter who they score with off the pitch. #ComeOut2Play”
Most football fans and people in the football community want LGBT people in the game to feel safe and comfortable being themselves. It’s our job to reassure all LGBT people in football that the vast majority of fans stand shoulder to shoulder with them.