Arsenal FC shows homophobia not welcome by hosting London schools LGBT sports tournament and showcase

February 20, 2013

Equality legislation, including the recent Westminster vote on marriage equality, should protect members of the LGBT community against discrimination and abuse.  But, a lack of LGBT role models in professional football means many young LGBT people who play the sport feel uncomfortable and hide their sexuality.

It is important therefore that one of the Premier League’s top clubs, Arsenal, are hosting this year’s “Educate and Celebrate” London Schools LGBT sport tournament and showcase.  The club have pledged their support for LGBT History month by putting rainbow lights around the pitch with a statement; ‘Arsenal for everyone supporting LGBT History Month.’  They have also advertised the Football V homophobia campaign and support for LGBT History month in their match day programme.

On the day there will be a school sports tournament in the afternoon, organised by ‘Football V homophobia’ and ‘Arsenal in the community’

At 5pm Camden LGBT Forum will host a panel debate discussing ‘homophobia in sport’.

The evening event will include performances from Stoke Newington School, Urstwick, Acland Burghley, William Patten and Regents College plus special guests The London Gay Men’s Chorus, singer/songwriter Virgo and radio presenters NDebz. Key speakers include the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, Chair of Pride Sports Lou Englefield and captain of the Paralympic volleyball team Claire Harvey.

The events are open to all London schools who want to participate in sport and showcase LGBT work from the curriculum.

The event is coordinated by Elly Barnes who is the Pink List No: 1 and LGBT schools advisor for London and Birmingham. She is working across the UK educating young people through the curriculum about the achievements of LGBT people in history and eradicating homophobic language and bullying from our schools. You can find information and tickets here:

Elly says, “Educating through the curriculum is key to creating an enlightened environment in which our teachers and students can thrive and be who they want to be without fear of discrimination”

The ‘Educate and Celebrate’ London Schools LGBT sport tournament (1pm) and showcase will be held at The Emirates Ground in the Highbury Suite on 28thFebruary at 6.30pm. 


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