Football campaigners, players, administrators and fans are set to descend on Nottingham for a discussion around homophobia in the game on Tuesday 21 February.
Nottingham Ball Bois, a gay-friendly football club in Nottingham, are playing host to the panel event at Nottingham Trent University, which is being held as part of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans (LGBT) History Month.
Supported by The FA, Kick It Out, and Pride Sports, the UK's LGBT sports development and equity organisation, the event will see a number of highly-respected figures, including Nottingham Forest Chairman Frank Clark, Notts County defender Sam Sodje, and The Justin Campaign Director Megan Worthing-Davies, coming together to talk about how football deals with the issue of homophobia, and whether the game is ready for an ‘out’ gay player.
Running from 6:30-9pm, the panel discussion is being held in LT1 in Nottingham Trent University's Newton Building, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU.
The issue of homophobia in football has been thrust into the spotlight of late, and is a topic Burnley defender Clarke Carlisle, currently on loan at League Two side Northampton Town, is particularly vocal about: "I think it's [whether we will see an openly gay Premiership footballer] an issue, not just in football but generally in sport, and it's a reflection of the nation we live in.”
The PFA Chairman continued: “There is a stigma about homosexuality and this is why the coming-out process is such a traumatic one. When you transpose that into a sports environment, it's very alpha-male dominated, so you don't want to show any signs of weakness.”
Taking place throughout February on an annual basis since 2004, LGBT History month celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. This year’s theme is sport, with local activities, educational workshops, and discussion forums being held nationwide to raise awareness.
One highlight is on February 19, when The Justin Campaign will be launching “Football v Homophobia” for the third consecutive year. The international initiative provides an opportunity for individuals, communities and teams across the world to communicate their disapproval of homophobia in the game.
Former England international and Kick It Out ambassador Earl Barrett, commented: “People shouldn’t be afraid to talk openly about homophobia in football. LGBT History Month and “Football v Homophobia” provide the perfect platform for discussion and debate around the issue, and to celebrate the diverse following the game has.”
Click here for the event page with full details and registration, or email
for futher information.