Charlton Athletic are set to launch this year’s Football v Homophobia month of action with Saturday’s League One encounter against Portsmouth at The Valley.
Working alongside the Community Trust (CACT), the campaign will run throughout February and is the fifth consecutive year the Addicks will have had a matchday dedicated to the cause.
The club’s LGBTQI+ supporters group, the Proud Valiants, are leading themed matchday activities which are set to include:
• Virtual events with guest speakers in the run-up to the game.
• A pre-match zoom for supporters to join.
• Activity with Proud Valiants ambassador and Charlton legend Paul Mortimer.
Last year’s event also included a memorable pre-match performance by the Pink Singers, who are set to be involved again.
A spokesperson for the Proud Valiants said: “The Football v Homophobia campaign has always been an important event to us, the work the organisation does all year is phenomenal.
“Many organisations may take baby steps in the battle of acceptance for all in football, however Lou (Englefield, Director of Football v Homophobia) and the team take giant strides.
“We are so proud to be hosting this year’s launch event in conjunction with the club and Charlton Athletic Community Trust.
“It will be the first and hopefully last launch event that will be held virtually. We have an exciting schedule of events surrounding the activity which we hope will be monumental. We cannot wait.”
Director of Football v Homophobia, Lou Englefield added: “We’re delighted to be working with the Proud Valiants and Charlton Athletic to launch the 2021 Month of Action.
“Charlton is a fantastic club with a long history of anti-discrimination work. Although we won’t be at The Valley this season, we look forward to the time we can visit the club again, joining friends and colleagues who work tirelessly to ensure football is for everyone.”
The club, working with its Community Trust, has been one of the leaders in tackling homophobia in football with the themed matchday just one of a number of initiatives the club undertakes and includes:
• An annual Charlton v Homophobia tournament on the pitch at The Valley.
• The continued support of the Proud Valiants, one of the country’s first supporter groups for LGBTQI+.
• Charlton Invicta affiliating to CACT, to become the first-ever LGBTQI+ friendly team to be affiliated to a professional football club.
• CACT delivering a wide range of programmes designed to promote equality and tackle discrimination, including issues related to identity, gender and prejudice, and has a dedicated Equality, Diversity & Inclusion strand.
• The Charlton family being represented at Pride in London.
• Online seminars focusing on LGBTQI+ inclusion.
Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard added: “One of the things I learned very quickly about Charlton is they have a proud history of inclusion and fighting inequality.
“The work the club, community trust and supporters have done together over the years is something they should all be proud of.
“The club is one of the leaders in fighting homophobia in football, which is important, as football should be a safe place for everyone.
“I’m looking forward to taking part in this year’s themed matchday, whether it be in-person or virtually.”
If you are interested in attending any of tomorrow’s activities, visit the Proud Valiants events page for more information.