London Wasps have become the first professional rugby union club to sign the government’s Charter for Action in Sport. It aims to tackle homophobic and transphobic abuse both on and off the pitch.
The club, based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, joins Wycombe Wanderers, with whom they share a ground, in supporting the initiative.
The Equalities Minister Lynn Featherstone has congratulated the London Wasps for signing the charter and said: “I applaud them for doing so. I encourage everyone who loves Rugby Union to sign the Charter and help kick homophobia and transphobia out of sport for good.”
London Wasps winger Tom Varndell said: “As a Club we are committed to supporting anything which helps to stamp out all forms of discrimination in the game.
“I believe rugby does a very good job at encouraging and welcoming players, fans and officials of a range of diverse backgrounds already and long may this continue.
“Everybody should be able to enjoy sport, regardless of who they are and where they’ve come from.”
Ben Cohen, the former England rugby player and anti-bullying campaigner also applauded the club’s decision and said:
“It’s great to see that London Wasps have joined the support of this important Charter.
“With football and rugby clubs getting involved maybe things can start to change and we will see other sporting organisations join in.
“As sporting role models, we all have a duty to set an example to all, on and off the pitch so well done Wasps”.