EPL Sides Manchester United, Chelsea Back 'Football V Homophobia' Campaign
ManU and Chelsea have joined the "Football v Homophobia" campaign for the first time "as the group seeks to gain support from 50% of professional clubs in England," according to Alistair Magowan of the BBC. Of the Premier League's 20 teams, 11 are involved but only 17 from the Football League's 72 clubs plan a "visible anti-homophobia stance." Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and West Ham "have all backed the scheme." West Ham midfielder Kevin Nolan said, "We're passionate about supporting this." The idea of the campaign is to challenge homophobic behavior "while welcoming more lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people to football." Football v Homophobia co-Dir Megan Worthing-Davies said that "she hoped the campaign would avoid football's obsession with players coming out and concentrate on building a more tolerant culture" (BBC, 2/5). The SUNDERLAND ECHO reported EPL side Sunderland "has joined a group of Premier League clubs in the war on homophobia." Sports Minister Helen Grant has backed the campaign, saying, "Football v Homophobia is raising the awareness of important issues and provides ways for everyone in football to get involved" (SUNDERLAND ECHO, 2/5).