Premier League clubs sign anti-homophobia charter

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The twenty football clubs which make up the Premier League have signed the Sports Charter aiming to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport.

The Sports Charter was launched in June 2011 at 10 Downing Street when Chief Executive Richard Scudamore signed on behalf of the Premier League.

All 20 Premier League clubs have now signed the Charter individually, the League said today.

Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League said: “We are pleased to reaffirm our commitment with each of our clubs signing the Charter.

“The Premier League and our member clubs believe that everyone should be able to participate in, watch and enjoy sport – whoever they are and whatever their background.

“When the Sports Charter to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport was launched in June 2011 the Premier League signed it and we are pleased to re-affirm our commitment to it today with each of our clubs signing it individually.”

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone added: “Nearly 3,000 individuals and clubs have already signed up and I’m delighted that Premier League clubs have taken a stand by signing the Charter too.

“It sends a really strong signal when clubs in the best league in the world say enough is enough.”

The Charter is made up of four points:

– We believe that everyone should be able to participate in, watch and enjoy sport – whoever they are and whatever their background.
– We believe that sport is about fairness and equality, respect and dignity. Sport teaches individuals how to strive and succeed, how to cope with success and disappointment, and brings people together with a common goal.
– We are committed to making these values a reality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We will work together, and individually, to rid sport of homophobia and transphobia.
– We will make football a welcome place for everyone – for those participating in the sport, those attending matches and for those working or volunteering in it. We will work with all these groups to ensure they have a voice, and to challenge unacceptable behaviour.

Chris Basiurski, Chair of the Gay Football Supporters’ Network said: “We are delighted that the Premier League Clubs have decided to sign the Government’s charter but we are conscious that is just the first step.

“We are keen to ensure that the clubs are not just making an empty gesture but are truly committed to the cause of tackling homophobia and we are calling on them to commit as much time and resources to this cause as they have previously demonstrated in the largely successful fight against racism.

“With the recent BBC3 documentary highlighting that the issue of homophobia is prevalent in the game today, creating a safe and tolerant atmosphere in football for LGBT people has never been more important and we hope to see some real progress from the Clubs in the wake of their signing the Charter.”