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The Awards, in association with Tesco, celebrate leading LGBT+ activists, allies and celebrity figures who have worked to advance the rights of LGBT+ people during the past 12 months.
For the first-time ever the British LGBT Awards will shine a light on the absence of an openly gay football player in England’s Premier League and highlight ‘allies’ from the sport.
The new ‘Football Ally’ award, for 2021 only, will highlight football personalities who are working to break down barriers and help to reach the moment when footballers can be their authentic selves on the playing field.
Jordan Henderson and Jurgen Klopp are among those shortlisted for the award as is former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness.
British LGBT Awards organisers have singled out Jordan Henderson’s support for the LGBT+ community.
The Liverpool captain showed solidarity with the LGBT+ community by donning a rainbow coloured armband and tweeting “football is for everyone” last year. This caught the attention of a 24 year old LGBT+ fan named Keith Spooner who responded in praise of the social media post saying it will help gay football fans. The England star replied: “You’ll never walk alone Keith. If wearing the #RainbowLaces armband helps even just one person then its progress.”
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp has regularly worn Rainbow Laces in his trainers on matchdays and has encouraged his players to speak up and advocate for social causes. The Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool star, Graeme Souness, has regularly addressed the need for a ‘culture shift’ in football and has shared his positive experiences of attending Brighton Pride in 2019.
Other nominees include Gary Lineker, Everton’s Richarlison, Wolves’ captain Conor Coady, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, Brighton’s Danny Welbeck and Crystal Palace defender Gary Cahill.
“This award shines a light on football stars and others from the sport who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the LGBT+ community.
“Jordan Henderson is a brilliant example of a football player who consistently does this. It is important that this support is recognised.
This award is also about highlighting the lack of an openly gay footballer in the Premier League. For too many people, LGBT+ inclusion remains a taboo subject for the sport. This has to change. Allies from the sport are critical to making that change happen.”
We want to help reach the moment when footballers can be their authentic selves on the playing field.”
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