Manchester United has teamed up with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charity Stonewall
The club will work alongside the charity to help tackle LGBT issues in sport and society, including looking at ways of improving inclusion and equality in the game.
It means United has officially joined the TeamPride coalition of global businesses that offers support to people involved in sport with regard to issues around homophobia and discrimination.
The club first linked up with Stonewall last year, attending the annual TeamPride conference, before taking part in the charity’s Rainbow Laces campaign. Old Trafford will host the Rainbow Laces Summit later this year.
United has officially joined the TeamPride coalition of global businesses
United’s group managing director Richard Arnold said: “Manchester United always looks to be a leader in everything it does and we are proud to be the first sports club to sign up to TeamPride.
We have built up a positive working relationship with Stonewall and it’s a great way for us to learn from each other
Richard Arnold – United's group managing director
“The club has an ongoing commitment to equality across all areas and, with 659million followers around the world, it is our responsibility to show support and recognition to everybody who loves this football club.
“We have built up a positive working relationship with Stonewall and it’s a great way for us to learn from each other and progress together as we strive for equality for all of our supporters.”
United last year launched its own equality, diversity and inclusion programme – allredallequal.
‘Manchester United’s support means we can reach millions of football fans’, says Hunt of Stonewall
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In a statement today the club added: “Work will continue to develop with organisations such as Kick It Out, Show Racism the Red Card, Stonewall, Level Playing Field, MUDSA and many more groups as the club looks to be at the forefront of equality.”
Ruth Hunt of Stonewall, added: “Manchester United’s support means we can reach millions of football fans both here and around the world, to encourage them to do their part in making all people feel welcome in sport.
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“It’s crucial for organisations like Manchester United to show they not only welcome LGBT people, but are active in leading the change. At the moment, many LGBT people want to take part in sport, either as players or fans, but the behaviour of a minority can make them feel unsafe, unwelcome or unable to be themselves.
“There’s so much work left to do to ensure that all LGBT people feel able to participate in sport, and we hope to see other clubs take Manchester United’s lead and join the Rainbow Laces campaign to make this a reality.”