Volunteers from Exeter Pride, the Football v Homophobia campaign in the South West, and members of Devon Lions, the local gay-friendly football club, helped Exeter City Football Club take another stand against homophobia at its home game with Newport County on Saturday, February 20.
The match was the club’s annual “Football v Homophobia” fixture and a number of initiatives to mark the day were organised by the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust and its One Game One Community (OGOC) Group and the Club’s Football in the Community charity.
It was the seventh time that a Football v Homophobia initiative has been held by Exeter City.
Before the game the volunteers from Exeter Pride and Devon Lions handed out thousands of leaflets to spectators attending the match.
Players from both teams warmed up in Football v Homophobia T shirts and the shirts were thrown to the crowd before the start of the game.
The players then walked out for the pre match line-up behind a Football v Homophobia banner.
Articles about the campaign were also be featured in the match programme and anti-discrimination announcements were made before kick-off and at half-time.
Exeter City’s OGOC Ambassador Ollie Watkins supporting the initiative said: “Homophobia like all discrimination has no place in football”.
Alan Quick, a member of the OGOC group, who is also the South West Co-ordinator for Football v Homophobia and a founding trustee of Exeter Pride, said he is pleased that Exeter City has been a long-standing supporter of the Football v Homophobia campaign.
“Homophobia, prejudice and discrimination against Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in football is unacceptable and I am really pleased that Exeter City is committed to creating safe and inclusive football environments for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Prejudice and discrimination in football affects us all, not just LGBT people” said Alan.
Exeter City’s One Game One Community Group works with the national Kick it Out campaign to address all types of discrimination in football including race, disability, gender, age and sexual orientation.
Exeter Pride is currently organising its eighth annual pride event for the various LGBT communities of Exeter and the South West.
It will take place on Saturday, May 7 and include a parade down Exeter High Street from the St Sidwell’s Centre to Exeter Phoenix where there will be a programme of events, including workshops, stalls, a panel discussion and entertainment.