17th February 2020 16:57pm
Charlton Athletic's home game against Luton Town on Saturday 22 February will be dedicated to fighting homophobia as part of Football v Homophobia's Month of Action.
The Club, working with Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) and partners, are committed to fighting homophobia in the sport and earlier this month finished second in the inaugural Football v Homophobia Awards.
CACT Invicta, the first LGBTQI+ friendly team to become affiliated to a professional club's community trust, scooped the Grassroots Football Award at the inaugural awards.
The game is the fourth year Charlton have dedicated a matchday to the cause with much of the activity coordinated by the Club's LGBTQI+ suppoerters' group, the Proud Valiants. Activities this year include:
- A special museum display in the Fans' Bar looking at the club's campaign over the years fighting homophobia in football
- Pre-match presentations for the award-winning CACT Invicta and Proud Valiants
- A pre-match performance from London's LGBT Community Choir, The Pink Singers
- A half-time volley competition by representatives from each team that took part in last year's Charlton v Homophobia tournament
- A post-match reception in the Vista Restaurant
Michael Seeraj, CACT's Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, said:
"This year has been an incredible year for the Charlton family. All the hard work was recognised at the recent Football V Homophobia Awards, with Charlton represented in three categories.
"I have the great pleasure of working alongside Bob, Bhav and Gary from the Proud Valiants on a number of different initiatives, and can say without any doubt that they are totally committed to raising awareness and understanding of LGBTQI+ issues, and thoroughly deserve all the recognition they receive."
Proud Valiants chairperson Rob Harris said:
"We're delighted to be holding our fourth matchday themed around Football v Homophobia and this year promises to be bigger and better than the last three years.
"Since our formation the Proud Valiants have worked hard and days like today are important for raising the visibility and profile of the fight against biphobia, transphobia and homophobia whilst celebrating our heritage and community."
Charlton Athletic Museum Trustee, Ben Hayes, said:
"The club and supporters have a long history of fighting discrimination in our sport, dating back to the early Redm White and Black Days.
"That fight continues to this day and we're pleased we're able to get involved and showcase some of the great work that has already been done."
Earlier this month the Charlton family picked up three awards at the inaugural Football v Homophobia Awards in Altrincham.
Saturday's matchday continues the Club and CACT's commitment to raising the profile of LGBTQI+ football which includes:
- The annual Charlton v Homophobia tournament on the pitch at The Valley, which will take place fot the fifth time this summer
- The continued support of the Proud Valiants, one of the country's first supporter groups for LGBTQI+
- CACT affiliating to Charlton Invicta
- 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