Shrewsbury Town LGBT+ fans’ sadness at comments
LGBT+ fans of Shrewsbury Town say they are 'disappointed' by negative comments posted in response to the club showing support for the Rainbow Laces campaign.
The club changed its social media profile picture to a rainbow-inspired version of its logo, symbolising its solidarity with the movement spearheaded by the Premier League and leading LGBT+ rights charity Stonewall.
While many people left positive comments commending the club for its stance, there was also a backlash of comments saying it was "being rammed down everyone's throats" and accusing the club of "defacing" the badge.
One comment said: "This constant promotion of LGBT people is purely attention seeking PC rubbish. No one cares what anyone else does in their private life."
Shrewsbury Town's LGBT+ fan group, Proud Salopians, which launched earlier this year, responded to the negative remarks and thanked the club for its support.
Co-founder Andy Garden said: "It's very disappointing to read the amount of negative comments here, but also uplifting to see many fellow fans and supporters 'on-board' and see that overall the response is a positive one, with strong opinions on either side.
"We are not here to desecrate or deface anything, the identity and history of our club is absolutely 100 per cent respected and protected – but ultimately we are all living in the 21st century, and across the sleepy backwaters and far flung corners of Shropshire there are hundreds of people, young and old, who identify somewhere on the LGBT spectrum – some are football fans like you and I, alas in some cases – because of the hatred and vitriolic comments across social media like the ones on this post – some are not.
"We're not here to 'force feed political correctness' or to 'wave sexuality in people's faces' but we are simply here to represent an under-represented part of the footballing community, not just locally but nationally, and frankly we're not going anywhere.
"Those who say 'but other groups from society aren't represented like 'the gays' are' – we welcome all and any other minority or under-represented social, ethnic, or cultural groups to get involved with Town via the STFC Supporters Parliament as we did. We're more than happy to help reach out to people and get links established and more communities involved in all things Blue and Amber.
"We're ultimately extremely proud to join Shrewsbury Town in supporting the annual Rainbow Laces campaign to tackle homophobia and show the world and the rest of football that we are a club where everyone is welcome – and we remain forever grateful for the ongoing support the club show and give us every single day."
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