IDAHOBIT: Football v Homophobia releases powerful ‘I’m An Ally’ film

San Diego Loyal head coach Landon Donovan and Everton and Wales legend Neville Southall among those featuring in new short film from LGBT+ inclusion in football campaign group to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia…

By Sam Clarke

Click the image above to watch on YouTube

Sam Clarke is Comms Officer with the Football v Homophobia Youth Panel and a member of the Sports Media LGBT+ network.

As May 17 marks International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, at Football v Homophobia we wanted to take the time to highlight exceptional examples of allyship in football.

The FVH team have created a new short film titled ‘I’m An Ally’ which is available to watch on the FvH YouTube channel.

Among those featuring in the film is the San Diego Loyal head coach Landon Donovan. The US men’s national team legend describes an incident in September 2020 in which he and his team experienced an incident of racism.

“We need to act when those things happen. It is not OK to go to the next game and kneel, when it actually happened in the game, and we didn’t do anything about it,” says Donovan.

Despite most players in the Loyal team being unaware of that incident until after the match, many of them expressed regret at their lack of action, as did Donovan.

However, the very next week, they would take action when Collin Martin received homophobic abuse from an opponent in a USL Championship match against Phoenix Rising.

Loyal midfielder Martin is gay and came out publicly in 2018 while playing with Minnesota United in MLS. After half-time in the match against Rising, the Loyal players – led by Donovan – would walk off the pitch and forfeit the game in support of their teammate.

“Bringing awareness and speaking about it is great, but you have to actually act and do something in those moments. It’s really important,” added Donovan, the former Everton and Bayern Munich player echoing the words that have become known as the Loyal calling card: ‘We will speak. We will act’.

The ‘Football v Homophobia – I’m An Ally’ feature video also stars Everton and Wales icon Neville Southall, who has become a shining example of an ally in recent years, both on and off social media, especially with his continued love and support for the trans community.

Appearances from Aldershot Town assistant boss Anwar Uddin of the Football Supporters’ Association, as well as representatives of Sheffield United Football Club & County FAs, give a wide range of voices from across the game.

Learn more about Football v Homophobia on the campaign’s official website.

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