Irish football league says gay ref’s rainbow wristband is ‘a political gesture’
An Irish football team manager has spoken out in support of a referee who was banned from wearing a rainbow coloured wristband at a national league match.
Dublin GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) football manager Jim Gavin said he supports referee David Gough’s decision to wear a rainbow wristband, reports Irish Independent online.
Gough, the country's first openly gay GAA match official, said he felt disappointed and "let down" by the GAA's decision, in which he was told to remove the band as he was making a "political statement".
The freedom wristband is worn to highlight equality and homophobia in sport and as a personal gesture of support for a 'Yes' vote in the forthcoming referendum on same-sex civil marriage.
Speaking about the controversy, Gavin said he supported Gough.
"I certainly would like to think that society has moved on," he said.
"I wouldn't see this as a political issue, and maybe if he was making a political point then that was not the place for it, but I would sympathise with David Gough," he said.
In a statement, the GAA said the decision was "a black and white issue" and that "Croke Park is not the place to make political gestures".
[image] Referee David Gough.