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Bradford City to fly rainbow flag for LGBT campaign
Bradford City are happy to fly the flag in football’s fight against homophobia.
The rainbow flag, which symbolizes gay pride, is being flown above Valley Parade on a match day from this season.
City’s gesture has been welcomed by Just a Ball Game, a pressure group set up to encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion within the sport.
Founder Lindsay England is a lifelong supporter of the Bantams.
She said: “The club has been active for a number of years now against homophobia and discrimination and this is a great way to show how inclusive they are for LGBT fans of football.
“With the flag, the club show shows they are giving a hugely visible sign that these issues have great importance at Bradford City and are working hard on them and welcoming a local LGBT community.
“A number of our partner organisations and patrons have backed the initiative. It is a great message to send out to LGBT supporters of the club and also for the football world. Now we wait to see if other professional and non-league teams follow suit.”
City’s actions coincide with a national campaign by gay rights charity Stonewall. They have sent out rainbow bootlaces to all 92 clubs in England and 42 in Scotland, encouraging players to wear them for games this weekend.
According to research by Stonewall, seven in ten football fans who have attended a match had heard or witnessed homophobia on the terraces.
A City spokesman said: “Bradford City FC prides itself on being inclusive to all and welcomes participants and spectators to the stadium whatever their social background, colour, religion or sexual orientation. We are happy to fly the flag as an indication we are an open and inclusive club.”
Just a Ball Game patron Kieron Brady, a former Sunderland player, remembers scoring a goal at Valley Parade in 1990. He said: “A big well done to all who made this happen at City. Clubs need to be committed, both in a social sense and in the capacity as an employer.”