Leeds United promotes gay equality through Stonewall’s diversity programme

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Leeds United is the first football club in Britain to take part in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme to promote greater equality in the sport.

Leeds United will be promoting Stonewall’s “Some People Are Gay. Get Over it!” message in its matchday programmes and they hope it will make a “positive impact” for the club.

In September 2013,  Stonewall teamed up with bookmaker Paddy Power to encourage players to show their support for gay footballers by wearing rainbow coloured boot laces.

Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme offers an example of good practice for organisations such as Leeds United who aim to initiate gay-friendly environments to support their gay employees and volunteers. This programme will also include training for the club’s stewards to eradicate homophobic abuse and chanting when present at matches.

David Haigh, Leeds United managing director said: “This is very important to us because Leeds United is an all-inclusive football club where everybody is welcome and can feel a part of. Diversity is an important issue for sport in general, and by taking the lead on this, we are not only hoping to make a positive impact on our own club, but on football as a whole, and we hope other clubs will follow.”

Stonewall Deputy Chief Executive, Laura Doughty added: “By joining the Diversity Champions programme Leeds United recognises that people perform better when they can be themselves, whether on or off the pitch.They are showing that they are a forward thinking 21st century employer who wants to recruit, develop and support the very best staff. We hope other clubs will follow Leeds United’s lead and take steps to make sure they create an environment where all their staff can thrive and fans can fully enjoy matches.”