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Sydney FC set to show rainbow pride ahead of Mardi Gras
Mar02

Sydney FC set to show rainbow pride ahead of Mardi Gras

LAST UPDATED // Thursday, 02 March 2017 17:58 Written by // Cec Busby

Sydney FC will welcome members of Sydney’s two inclusive clubs, Sydney Rangers and The Flying Bats Women’s FC, to the field on Friday night ahead of their #BigBlue against Melbourne Victory. The aim: to help promote inclusion and diversity in sport.

The move comes following a week where homophobia in sport made headlines around the country after members of the Western Sydney Wanderers’ supporter group the Red and Black Bloc faced sanctions  and  an 18-month ban for unfurling a homophobic banner that bore a likeness of the Sydney FC coach committing a sex act.

In an effort to stamp out homophobic behaviour such as that displayed by Wanderers fans, Sydney FC has reached out to the Sydney Rangers and Flying Bats to show their support for the LGBTI community.

A number of activities will take place on the night if the #BigBlue with a large rainbow flag set to be held by 12 players from the two inclusive clubs as the players walk out onto the pitch, with a further eight players set to wave rainbow flags on the field of play.

Sydney FC players will also wear rainbow laces in their boots, while 2,000 laces will also be handed out in the Allianz Stadium forecourt prior to the game, among other activities. Melbourne Victory has also comfrimed some players will be wearing rainbow laces in support.

Captain Alex Brosque suggested rasing awareness was an important first step in stamping out homophobia in sport..

“Raising awareness about the importance of promoting inclusion and tackling discrimination in football, and sport generally, is huge.

“We have a multi-cultural and diverse community and supporter base at Sydney FC and we are committed to welcoming everyone into the Sky Blue family and to our games.We are looking forward to hosting the Sydney Rangers and The Flying Bats at Friday night’s game.”

news-sydney-rangers3

[image] Josh Brilliante, Joseph Roppolo, Emily Shrubb, Alex Brosque showing some rainbow pride.

Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata praised the initiative and said he was looking forward to Friday night’s encounter.

“The Sydney FC family is inclusive of everyone and we do not discriminate on account of gender or sexuality,” Pignata said.

“We are proud to be the first Hyundai A-League club involved in growing such initiatives over the last few years and I hope others will follow suit.

This is the third year Sydney FC have shown their support for Mardi Gras and ending homophobia in sport.

Joseph Roppolo, President of Sydney Rangers FC, who last week urged the Wanderers to connect with the club to discuss way to implement an anti homophobic framework, said he was happy with Sydney FC’s ongoning commitment to ending homophobia in sport.

“We are really happy with Sydney FC's commitment and leadership on the issue of addressing homophobia in football and we look forward to working proactively with the FFA and the other Hyundai A-League clubs to promote an inclusive, positive and clear message that football is for everyone.”

Emily Shrubb, President, The Flying Bats Women's FC said: "We applaud Sydney FC's initiative in promoting inclusion for LGBTIQ players and fans and are proud to be involved.

“It's great to see the Hyundai A-League follow on from the support for diversity and inclusion from the FFA and the inclusive atmosphere of the women's game in the W-League. Happy Mardi Gras, Sydney!"

Out On The Fields, the first international study on homophobia in sport, found that 80% of Australians had reported witnessing or experiencing homophobic behaviour in sport.

The  Big Blue takes centre stage at Allianz Stadium on Friday 3 March (kick off 7:50pm).

[main image] Josh Brilliante (sydney fc player), Joseph Roppolo, Alex Brosque (sydney fc captain), Emily Shrubb, Graham Arnold (sydney fc coach)

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Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and online editor of GayNewsNetwork.com.au

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