Black Pride changes date to avoid clash with football fans

UK Black Pride has announced it will move its annual Pride event to avoid a clash with football fans, after the date for a match between West Ham and Chelsea was changed.

Taking to Twitter to announce the change, Black Pride shared that the date of the event – originally 20 August – had been moved forward by one day to 19 August. 

The decision was made due to West Ham and Chelsea’s Premier League fixture being amended by the FA to take place on 20 August. 

The London derby will see The Hammers play their first home match of the new season against The Blues at 4.30pm, the location of which is London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – the same park Black Pride will take place at. 

“The safety, wellbeing and happiness of our UK Black Pride communities is paramount, and we recognise the potentially dangerous implications of having Black and brown LGBTQIA+ people sharing a space with a football fandom with a long history of racism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia,” the Pride group stated. 

“The decision to bring the event forward to Saturday, 19 August is one that helps us ensure we can put on a safe and celebratory event for our communities.” 

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The group added that they “appreciate” many people already had 20 August in their calendar as a “moment to reconnect with their chosen family and celebrate themselves authentically”. 

However, they continued that the decision was made so Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will feel “safer and more open for our community – from both a capacity control and cultural standpoint”. 

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UK Black Pride founder Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, aka Lady Phyll, said the organising the Pride event is a “big effort” and the decision was to move its date was made with “our community’s safety in mind”. 

She wrote: “Some of those decisions are small, some of them are big — they’re each important. 

“We’ve made a big safety decision: we’ve decided to bring our 2023 event forward this year, after learning that the safety of our communities could be compromised by a football match.”

In response to the move, Jon Holmes – the founder of LGBT Sports Media – described the change as: “A very sad situation all round, and one that schedulers / broadcasters would do well to reflect on to avoid a repeat in the future. Sigh.”

UK Black Pride 2023 will now take place on Saturday, 19 August at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park between 12 – 8pm.

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