English soccer club Arsenal announced on Friday their support for equality and the campaign against discrimination of the LGBT community on their website as part of LGBT Month.
The leading club said that it was committed to supporting LGBT History Month and the celebration of the lives and achievements of the LGBT community as part of its Arsenal for Everyone initiative.
The club announced in a statement posted on its official website that it would “celebrate its LGBT fan base at this Saturday’s FA Cup game against Blackburn Rovers and has invited representatives from LGBT organizations to attend the match, including Football v Homophobia, Stonewall and Kick It Out.”
The initiative has been well received by LGBT activists in England, who posted positive replies on the micro-blogging site Twitter praising the club’s movement on supporting equality and ending discrimination.
“The Club always strives to engage with its fans and a new LGBT supporters group, The Gay Gooners, has recently formed. The group will meet for the first time on Saturday,” the note to fans said.
Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “As a Club, we want to ensure that we encourage an inclusive atmosphere for all our fans, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. We are proud to be able to work with Football v Homophobia to help remove discrimination and prejudice, and promote the message that everyone should be able to enjoy football.”
The club is also the first in England’s Premiership to put its support behind London’s bid to host the Gay Games in 2018, which it said would be a catalyst in building “on the legacy of the 2012 Olympics and bring the Gay Games to the capital, which could potentially attract more than 12,000 visitors from across the world.”