York City FC is to become the first football club to dedicate a match to an anti-homophobia campaign.
The club’s 22 February match against Southend United will be dedicated to Football Against Homophobia, it was confirmed at York Pride 2014’s launch last night.
The club’s communications director Sophie Hicks said at the event that the match would be dedicated to the fight against homophobic.
She said that homophobia was the “last and most stubborn taboo” in football, and that York City wants to be fully inclusive.
Continuing, she said: “I am, however, sad to say that last year our support for York Pride led to the club receiving some negative and abusive correspondence which only strengthens the club’s desire to support York Pride and be active in the fight against homophobia.”
Chris Smith, the captain of the club was also present with another player Josh Carson. They presented York Pride with 100 tickets to the match to distribute among the LGBT community.
Organisers of York Pride hope to see diversity training in all York secondary schools in order to help young people be open about their sexuality.
Press and Marketing Officer Julian Rudd said that this year would focus on workplace equality, and on the fight to make care for older LGBT people more open and welcoming.
He said: “We have never asked for favourable treatment, we only want a level playing field for LGBT people.”
York Pride 2013 focussed on homophobia in sport.