Fans of English club Dulwich Hamlet lead the way in tackling homophobia23 January 2015

Overthelasttwoseasons,theEnglishfaninitiativeDulwichHamletSupporters’Trust(DHST)hasbeenleadingthewayintacklinghomophobiainnon-leaguefootball.On9JanuarytheTrustpresentedtheirnewestanti-homophobiabanneras partofitslong-standingcommitmenttochallengeprejudice. 

The ‘Dulwich Hamlet and Altona 93 against homophobia’ banner was develop as part of DHST Football People activities and will be permanently on display at the Dulwich Hamlet FC ground. The initiative is the result of a collaboration between the fans and the club, which looks to demonstrate a strong stance against discrimination.

Dulwich Hamlet Committee member Mishi Morath said: “Other football clubs say they’re against things, but in many cases it’s just lip service. We’re not just saying ‘We’re against homophobia,’ we’re trying to welcome gay fans to Dulwich.”

banner-at-gameThe banner is also marking the start of new series activities to champion the inclusion of LGBT people through football.

On 11 February, Dulwich Hamlet will be playing a friendly match against Stonewall FC, the current Gay World Football Champions, which will be dedicated to the fight against homophobia. The initiative will also raise funds to the Elton John AIDS Foundation

Moreover, on 21 February, the club’s home league match will feature a free ticket initiative for LGBT fans.

Both events will be held as part of the LGBT and Football v Homophobia month of action, which celebrate the contributions of the LGBT community to football.

Eric Najib, manager of Stonewall Football Club, said: “We are proud and pleased to take part in this game at Champion Hill. It will be a great experience and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Past activities
In November 2014, following the Fare Action Weeks, DHST Board members Jack Bagnall and Duncan Hart, and Trust member Ben Sibley, visited Hamburg to present an identical banner, to the one now on display, to the fans of Altona 93.

In September 2014, the Trust and the club’s players also engaged in the Rainbow Laces Day campaign, in which a number of the teams’ players wore rainbow laces to send across a message against homophobia. Later in September, DHST were chosen to act as ambassadors on  Kick It Out‘s awareness-raising day.

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