Stonewall and Manchester United have today announced a strategic partnership to promote LGBTQ inclusion.
The iconic UK football club will join Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme while also participating in Stonewall’s Workplace Allies programme as part of the partnership.
The announcement follows on from its diversity and inclusion-championing banner: ‘All Red All Equal’.
In 2017, Man U also became the first football club to join Stonewall’s TeamPride coalition, which the LGBTQ+ rights organisation says 'uses the power of sport to promote equality and tackle discrimination in sport and wider society.'
On today's news, Richard Arnold, Manchester United Group Managing Director, commented: “We’re immensely proud of our relationship with Stonewall and delighted to be taking it to the next level with this strategic partnership. Diversity is a source of strength for Manchester United and ensuring a welcoming environment for LGBT+ employees and fans is a crucial part of that.
“We’re committed to making equality, diversity and inclusion integral to the way we work and this partnership with Stonewall will help us achieve that important goal, building on the range of other initiatives we have under way as part of our All Red All Equal campaign.”
"Most sports fans want to see sports be better and more inclusive"
Nancy Kelley, chief executive of Stonewall, said: "It’s so important for organisations to actively work towards making sport everyone’s game. Many LGBT+ people want to take part in sport, either as players or fans, but at the moment not everyone feels welcome. We also know that most sports fans want to see sports be better and more inclusive.
"To make this happen, we need individuals and organisations to step up to show their support for LGBT+ people and that’s what Manchester United have done today. We’re excited to continue our journey with them from being a founding member of TeamPride, to now joining us as a Diversity Champion. We look forward to working with them to help further LGBT+ equality in football."
Eric Najib, leader of Rainbow Devils, the Manchester United LGBT+ Supporters’ group, added: “We’re proud to support and work alongside a club that is committed to creating an inclusive environment for LGBT+ people. There is still a lot more work to do but this partnership with Stonewall is another welcome step in the right direction.”
Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme helps employers embed LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace, and gain access to expert consultation, training and dedicated resources from Stonewall.
The Workplace Allies programme will help non-LGBT+ employees across the club and Manchester United Foundation find ways to actively support, champion and promote an LGBT-inclusive workplace culture.
(Main picture: Pixabay; second picture: provided)