Are you LGBTQ+ or an active ally with a role in sports? We work to bring the community together through networking, advocacy, digital publishing, and more; read our FAQs to learn about the help we provide and why we’re so passionate about sharing stories; see our calendar of events…
What is Sports Media LGBT+?
Back in the summer of 2017, a group of sports journalists, PR / comms professionals and community activists sat around a pub table in London, UK, to discuss the idea of a sports media industry network group for LGBT+ people and allies.
With enthusiasm for such a group confirmed, Sports Media LGBT+ formally launched that November, with strong support from the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA), BCOMS and other inclusion organisations.
Six years later, networking remains a fundamental function of the group – but our remit has widened into advocacy, campaigning, consultancy, digital publishing and events management.
We create resources, deliver workshops and webinars, and offer scenario planning. We seek to help all those who want to play their part in making sports culture more LGBTQ+-inclusive and welcoming.
We believe in responsible representation in journalism, something that’s put into practice by many of our members through their work.
We champion content that accurately reflects the experiences of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, from athletes to administrators, coaches to commentators, match officials to media influencers, all the way from the elite to the grassroots.
Every story shared has the potential to empower and could help to change someone’s life for the better.
We know too that being more visible can often be daunting so it’s important to focus on what you want to achieve and to have a support network in place.
For those reaching out, whatever your situation, confidentiality is guaranteed.
Jon Holmes is the founder and lead of Sports Media LGBT+. He is a freelance journalist, editor and media consultant…
My current roles include being an editor with Outsports, a part-time journalist at Sky Sports, and I look after media and comms as part of my committee role with the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA).
I also sit on the national committee of the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) and the steering committee of InterMedia UK, and I’m a director of Racing Pride, the LGBTQ+ inclusion in motorsport CIC.
I have over 20 years’ experience of producing digital sports content, specialising in ED&I. I previously led on business support for Rainbow Laces at Sky Sports during my full-time employment with the company.
I was part of the team that delivered the Pride House Birmingham project at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and I was shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life category at the 2022 British LGBT Awards.
I’m part of the team that works on the Football v Homophobia campaign, helping to deliver the annual Month of Action, events such as Football Pride, and projects including ‘Allies United’.
I’m supported at Sports Media LGBT+ by colleagues from across my industry and by ED&I professionals in wider sport.
How do I connect?
Beyond this website, you can find Sports Media LGBT+ on several social media platforms where we provide relevant news and info, such as recommended content, job opportunities, and event promotion…
Get involved! Do you have a role in sports media and are LGBT+ or a strong, active ally? We have over 60 core members in our network WhatsApp chat – get in touch if you’d like to learn more. The core group is a welcoming space where you can share, promote, discuss and find help / support on a variety of topics.
Sports Media LGBT+ also helps to operate the LGBTQ+ Professionals in Football Collective, which is an industry network for those working in the game in pro or semi-pro roles.
The Collective provides safe access to advice and connections with fellow players in the men’s and women’s games, coaches and managers, referees, and people working for FAs and governing bodies, all of whom are LGBTQ+ or active allies.
It’s supported by The FA, PGMOL, Football v Homophobia, Kick It Out and other organisations.
Find out more about connecting on our Contact page where you can also sign up to our mailing list for occasional newsletters.
Who do you work with?
Sports Media LGBT+ prides itself on being a collaborative group that promotes the inclusion work of others.
We continue to be backed by the SJA – our industry’s biggest membership group – and we have an important partnership with the FWA. Our network is strongly represented on the steering committees of both organisations.
In 2023, we are also working more closely with our friends at BCOMS, Women in Football and The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) as part of an intersectional diversity in sports media alliance project. These groups are also members of the Sport Media Identity Network, an academic research initiative funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
We are hugely grateful for the mutually supportive relationships we enjoy with Pride Sports UK / Football v Homophobia, Kick It Out, the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), LEAP Sports Scotland, Pride in Football, Racing Pride, InterMedia UK and Out for Sport, to name a few.
In addition, we offer support to a host of other sports clubs, societies, and organisations by raising awareness of their activities through the media.
See more about our connections on our Links page. If you’re interested in working with us, please get in touch.
Resources and learning
In 2022, we produced an LGBT+-specific Media Guide for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as part of our work on Pride House Birmingham.
This was an updated and bespoke version of ‘Rainbow Ready’, a resources pack created to assist anyone in a media or comms role looking for accessible, practical information about LGBT+ inclusion in sport.
These guides assist with the production of content about athletes, coaches, administrators and those in associated roles who are lesbian, gay, bi, and trans, outlining the types of messages an individual or group might want to convey and how to best deliver these to different audiences.
For Pride Month in June, we offer a dedicated resource and additional material.
Looking for guidance on workplace culture and LGBT+ inclusion in the sports media? Learnings from our most recent survey offer valuable insights that can help you create newsroom environments in which all employees can thrive.
Building on this, we also contributed to BCOMS’ D Word 4 Guide, released in November 2022, which is essential reading for all working in our industry. The Guide highlights best practice on embedding ED&I, with summaries of the panel discussions at the D Word 4 event held earlier in the year at News UK.
Our learning provision on all the above and other topics extends to workshops, presentations and webinars, which can be tailored to fit your requirements.
We have successfully delivered these to organisations including the EFL, the Football Association of Wales, Sky Sports, the Premier League Charitable Fund, and the Sport and Recreation Alliance.
We have the capacity to meet your requirements – enquire to discuss.
Calendar of events / dates for your diary – coming up in 2023/24…
Interested in attending / participating in any of these and would like more info? Want your event listed? Contact us!
- Fri 8 September to Sat 28 October – Rugby World Cup (France)
- Mon 25 Sep to Sun 1 Oct – National Inclusion Week
- Sat 30 Sep – National Sporting Heritage Day
- October – Black History Month in the UK
- October – LGBTQ History Month in the US and Canada
- Tue 10 Oct – World Mental Health Day
- Wed 11 Oct – Coming Out Day
- Wed 18 Oct – International Pronouns Day
- Thu 19 Oct – Spirit Day
- Fri 3 to Sat 11 November – Gay Games XI (Hong Kong and Guadalajara)
- Mon 13 to Sun 19 Nov – Trans Awareness Week
- Mon 20 Nov – Trans Day of Remembrance
- Fri 24 Nov – Out for Sport Awards (London)
- Sat 25 and Sun 26 Nov – Football Collective Conference – ‘Transformational Change: Managing Football and Social Justice’ (Leeds Beckett Uni)
- Sat 25 Nov to Mon 11 Dec – Annual activation of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign
- Fri 1 December – World AIDS Day
- Tue 5 and Wed 6 Dec – Sporting Chance Forum (Geneva)
- Thu 7 Dec – SJA British Sports Awards (The Oval, London)
- January 2024 (date and time in 4th week tbc) – FIFA anti-discrimination event, organised by New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce (William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey, USA)
- February 2024 – Football v Homophobia Month of Action
Got news to share? We can help!
Our website welcomed over 50,000 visitors in 2022. It’s registered with Google News and when coupled with our ever-growing social media reach, which provides access to an engaged audience in the tens of thousands, we’re a go-to digital destination for a range of content related to being LGBT+ in sports.
We encourage you to reach out to us for guidance through the media maze – perhaps you’ve put together a press release, or you’ve written a personal blog post that deserves to be read more widely? We can help you get your content published, drive traffic, and achieve your goals.
We’re also proficient in podcasting, having devised and delivered episodes and spin-off material for Football v Homophobia and Pride House International.
Having good quality imagery to accompany your content makes a huge difference. But whatever your pitch, please send it our way – and if you’re keen to reach a really big audience, our network members who work for major platforms and publishers are on hand to discuss further.
Meanwhile, if you’re already creating content, shout about it! Our Recommended page lists a variety of websites, podcasts and other outlets that cover the LGBT+ experience in sports, as well as a list of editors and journalists who regularly cover this topic and related themes. To ask to be added, get in touch.
Our recent achievements
Here are some of our highlights from the last 12 months or so…
August 2023: Led on planning and delivery of Football v Homophobia’s Football Pride event in Manchester
July 2023: Hosted and organised a Pride panel discussion event at Brentford FC
June 2023: Contributed blog on Pride Month for Sport and Recreation Alliance; attended Fare Network’s Equality and Inclusion in Football Conference in Lisbon; guest speaker at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Sport UK Conference in London; hosted the Fans for Diversity plenary at the Football Supporters’ Association / Fans Europe Congress in Manchester; contributed an article about coming out publicly in sport for the British Elite Athletes’ Association; worked with Kick It Out on Pride content with LGBTQ+ Professionals in Football Collective members Sam Picton and Hayley Wood-Thompson
May 2023: Delivered ‘Preparing for Pride Month’ workshop at Include Summit in Manchester; contributed to event for NCTJ’s annual Diversity in Journalism Report; delivered talk to journalism students from University of Florida
April 2023: Contributed to ITV event linked to in-house inclusive language project
Mar 2022: Consultancy and content production with Sky Sports on The HangOUT
Feb 2023: Delivered bespoke workshop on LGBT+ History Month and inclusive workplace culture to senior leaders at Sky Sports; raised £750 for akt at charity quiz night in conjunction with West London Queer Project
Jan to Feb 2023: Worked with Football v Homophobia to amplify campaign’s Month of Action; assisted in event management of FvH Awards in Manchester; consultancy with sponsors EE Hope United on anti-homophobia project
Nov 2022: Helped to collate and produce BCOMS’ D Word 4 Diversity Guide
Sep to Dec 2022: Consultancy with Kick It Out on Qatar 2022 Working Group, to explore issues relating to LGBTQ+ inclusion in and around the FIFA World Cup; produced content for The Guardian, Metro.co.uk, Sky Sports and New Statesman; delivered bespoke workshops for the EFL and University of Gloucestershire
Oct 2022: Helped to organise an #AuthenticMe event at Strathclyde Students’ Union in Glasgow alongside Pride of the Terraces and LEAP Sports Scotland, supported by the SJA
Oct 2022: Put on network group social night at Sixes Fitzrovia in London
July and Aug 2022: Led on media and comms for the successful delivery of the Pride House Birmingham venues and project at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
June 2022: Put on an event in London to launch the LGBTQ+ Professionals in Football Collective
Apr 2022: Collaborated with Football v Homophobia campaign on new episodes of the FvH Podcast to mark Lesbian Visibility Week
Apr 2022: Launched The Pride House Podcast, a series in support of Pride House Birmingham ahead of the Commonwealth Games
Sports Media LGBT+ is a network, advocacy, and consultancy group that is helping to build a community of LGBTQ+ people and allies in sport. We’re also a digital publisher.
We’re interested in your news and stories. Share with us and tap into a worldwide audience through our Google News affiliate website and our popular social channels with over 15,000 followers. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.