Bundesliga Werder Bremen and Mainz 05 join forces in action day against homophobia

The Bundesliga encounter between the Werder Bremen and Mainz 05 on 4 April will be dedicated to the fight against homophobia as part of Werder’s “For inclusion & diversity” campaign.

A series of initiatives will engage fans of all ages throughout the day and address topics such as football and diversity, homophobia and social inclusion. Players, coaches, referees and mascots will wear a dedicated campaign’s t-shirt during the warm-up. To show their support, fans can buy the t-shirt on the day. All revenue will go to the club’s fan department to further its work with fans. Activities for children, informative material on the campaign and other awareness raising activities will also be organised and on display.

Across Bremen, free postcards will be distributed in pubs reading, “We are Bremen, We are colourful”. The club museum will host a themed exhibition to spark discussions around diversity and social inclusion.

The club works closely with its supporters and apart from the display of campaign adverts and stadium announcements the activities in the stadium will include a tifo against discrimination and the introduction of the Werder Bremen and Mainz 05 LGBT fans groups, Green Hot Spots and Die Meenzelmänner, respectively.

‘For inclusion & diversity’ branded materials will be displayed across the stadium and featured on equipment including the match football ball and both teams’ kits. To mark the occasion, the club will replace the corner flags with rainbow flags, a gesture to symbolises respect for diversity on pitch.

In a move to show football's role for inclusion, the mascots will wave different country flags representing the nationalities of all players that will line-up before the match kick-off. Both teams' players will hold a banner reading 'Cross Out Prejudice' as part of the same-named nation-wide campaign launched by the German FA and league.

"Cross Out Prejudice" is a comprehensive integration initiative, which will be implemented over the next two years across Germany, and seeks to encourage the inclusion of refugees in German society through football projects. Through concerted action grassroots and professional clubs, local governments, human rights organisations and NGOs will develop and further work towards the creation of a welcoming culture for refugees in Germany.

Both campaigns come after the Bundesliga giant Borussia Dortmund initiated their awareness-raising "No beer for racists! Football. Beer. Openness to the world." initiative to challenge right-wing movements in Dortmund and hostility against immigrants in Germany.

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