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SUFC & SUCF: Football v Homophobia

What is FvH? FvH takes place year-round and the campaign stages its Month of Action every February. The international campaign aims to tackle homophobia and prejudice against LGBT+ people in football. The aim of FvH is to make football safe, inclusive, and welcoming for everyone.

According to FvH end of season survey (2018), 63% of LGBT+ football fans heard homophobic abuse at football matches. Whilst attitudes are changing, homophobic and transphobic language in football is still affecting the experience of LGBT+ people watching, playing, officiating and administrating the game. It impacts particularly on the experience of LGBT+ children and young people in football who may feel especially vulnerable and isolated if they hear negative comments at a time when they are discovering their own identities.

Throughout FvH month and beyond, please help Sheffield United by standing up to discrimination against LGBT+ people in the game. Together we can make football a welcoming place for everyone.

Rainbow Blades and FvH Over our first year we have been very impressed with the work carried out by FvH, the opportunities for supporters, groups, community foundations and clubs to get involved with education and training and the tireless work that is carried out during FvH Month of Action in February. They exist to end discrimination in football and to ensure football for everyone. A huge reason Rainbow Blades exists.

James Laley, the Rainbow Blades founder and chair, said: "It was always our intention to reach out to FvH in anticipation of February, to begin that relationship and to connect FvH with the Community Foundation and club. FvH have a fantastic set of training packages and educational resources, which is a key area of Rainbow Blades strategy, to encourage the Community Foundation and club for their workforce, stewards, coaches, and players to be delivered this training so every corner of the club is being educated on LGBT+ inclusion in football. I believe we can use this month as a springboard for a long-lasting working relationship with FvH."

Rainbow Blades update As we fast approach our first birthday in April we have so much coming up and a packed action plan full of events, activities and campaigns for our second year. With what we have achieved, have coming up and over 200 Blades signed up, now has never been a better time to become a member.

A taster of what's coming up over the next few months...

Football v Homophobia Month of Action

Football v Homophobia Awards

Annual Member Survey


First birthday celebrations

Rainbow Blades Player of the Season

Allies campaign

James adds: "As a supporters' group we are very proud of what we have accomplished in such a short space of time and during a pandemic. The Rainbow Laces campaign is of course a particular highlight. Our visibility has grown and our interaction with members is making a difference to lives during such a difficult time. If you haven't attended one of our pre-match socials I would highly recommend it. We of course eagerly await a day when these socials happen in person before heading to BDTBL."

"Rainbow Blades will continue to work for our members, with the club and Community Foundation and strategically within our pillars of success.

"The future continues to be bright and we look forward to a successful 2021."

Club Equality, Diversity and Inclusion update At Sheffield United we are passionate about promoting greater equality across the club and take a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination.

Over the last year we have established an internal equality working group, appointed a dedicated ED&L manager and developed an equality action plan to ensure we are focusing our efforts in the right place. We have continued to work with organisations including Stonewall, Kick It Out, Level Playing Field, as well as the Premier League, to further our efforts in making the sport more inclusive and accessible. Delivering a number of initiatives for Rainbow Laces, Black History Month and World Mental Health Day. We very much look forward to continuing our work in partnership with Rainbow Blades and Football v Homophobia over the coming year.

Reporting We all have a part to play when it comes to ending discrimination in football. One way is as a Blade you can sign up to Rainbow Blades and promote inclusion in your communities, with friends and family and at Bramall Lane. Another very important way is to report. No one wants to see or hear discrimination, or a hate crime happen at Bramall Lane. We are all better than that. So, help us make a difference and 'Take a Stand' against such behaviour by reporting it to either Kick it Out or directly to the club. Below are ways you can do this.

Club Report directly to a matchday steward. This is the preferred option as it can be dealt with swiftly and followed up after. Report via our internal Customer Care and Complaints Procedure which can be found on the website below:

Please can you provide as much information as possible to enable the club to investigate further, in line with our internal procedures eg area of the ground, which row, seat number and description of the act. View the clubs policy below:

Kick it Out

  • Online

  • App You can report an incident of discrimination via the Kick It Out app which can be used on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides users with the ability to attach video, photo and audio evidence to complaints to help support investigations into discriminatory abuse and behaviour across football.

  • Phone You can report an incident of discrimination by calling 0800 169 9414 and speaking directly to a Kick It Out staff member.

  • Social Media You can report an incident of online discrimination in football by contacting Kick It Out directly on Twitter, @kickitout, or by contacting the organisation's Reporting Officers on @kickitoutreport. When reporting an incident of social media discrimination, screenshots or links to the offending posts are recommended in order to assist Kick It Out in taking up the issue with the relevant social media platform or authority.

  • Email You can also contact Kick It Out's Reporting Officers to report an incident of discrimination by emailing

Sunday’s game against Chelsea was chosen to show support to the Football vs Homophobia Campaign (FvH). Football vs Homophobia is a year-round campaign, with February being their chosen month of action. This campaign aims to tackle homophobia in football, and this is something that Sheffield United Community Foundation feels strongly about.

Off the back of the work that we did back in November around Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces Campaign, we are looking to continue to raise awareness and educate participants and staff members about these issues in sport.

To help educate participants and staff members we have teamed up with Football Vs Homophobia to run a number of educational workshops. These workshops will be about barriers for participation for LGBT+ people and equality in sport.

We plan to have workshops delivered to our staff members, education students and participants across the wider foundation. The workshops will be delivered by FvH staff members and content will be tailored to each target audience.

Safeguarding Manager and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead Vicki Wilson, said:

“We are really excited to be working with Football V Homophobia, and grateful to facilitate these targeted workshops to our participants and work force, so we can continue to challenge homophobic and transphobic behaviour in football.”
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