Kim Watson - Managing Director (Media & Marketing)
Right Behind Gay Footballers
In the same week that David Cameron scores an own goal by announcing that it is okay for Spurs fans to refer to themselves as "Yids" many top flight footballers and some important teams have promised to wear rainbow coloured bootlaces during this weekend's fixtures on 21 and 22 September.
More from Kim Watson - Managing Director (Media & Marketing)
Players like QPR's Joey Barton, who has a gay uncle, and Everton/England centre-half Phil Jagielka are publicly backing the campaign, as are his club Everton. The weekend long campaign Right Behind Gay Footballers was organised by Stonewall and is sponsored by Paddy Power the bookmakers!
Well done Stonewall, Joey and Phil et al as so far we can count the only out gay footballers on one hand and even those come with a sad side story: Robbie Robinson came out after retiring as a Leeds Utd player; , Anton Hysen was out and proud but played in the Dutch second division (His dad Glenn did play for Liverpool FC) and Justin Fashanu who came out later in his career in the 80s suffered tragically as a result.
According to today's Metro Scottish team Stenhousemuir have also said they will support the game at their match this weekend and West Ham Utd have said laces could be worn during a training session ! The Hammers are also nicknamed "The Irons". To be clear this is because of their founding name as the Thames Ironworks F.C and not cockney rhyming slang for "poof" i.e Iron Hoof (oh the irony!)!
Lacing up against homophobia could be the start of something major in anti-discrimination in sport! I'm a life long West Ham supporter and will be watching our home game this weekend against Everton with added interest! Just wish they weren't restricting their support to the training field!