Manchester United have announced a new strategic partnership with Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT+) charity, to help promote diversity and equality throughout the club.
The agreement will see United sign up to Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, which helps employers embed LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace and gain access to expert consultation, training, and dedicated resources.
United will also participate in Stonewall’s Workplace Allies scheme, which will help non-LGBT employees across the club and the Manchester United Foundation support and promote an LGBT-inclusive culture.
The partnership comes three years after United became the first side to join Stonewall’s TeamPride coalition, which uses the power of sport to promote equality and tackle discrimination.
United also support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign and have created an internal Pride Network for LGBT+ employees.
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Richard Arnold, United’s managing director, said: “We’re immensely proud of our relationship with Stonewall and delighted to be taking it to the next level with this strategic partnership.
“Diversity is a source of strength for Manchester United and ensuring a welcoming environment for LGBT+ employees and fans is a crucial part of that.
“We’re committed to making equality, diversity and inclusion integral to the way we work and this partnership with Stonewall will help us achieve that important goal, building on the range of other initiatives we have underway as part of our All Red All Equal campaign.”
Nancy Kelley, chief executive of Stonewall, added: “It’s so important for organisations to actively work towards making sport everyone’s game.
“Many LGBT+ people want to take part in sport, either as players or fans, but at the moment not everyone feels welcome.
“We also know that most sports fans want to see sports be better and more inclusive. To make this happen, we need individuals and organisations to step up to show their support for LGBT+ people and that’s what Manchester United has done today.”
Eric Najib, leader of Rainbow Devils, the Manchester United LGBT+ supporters’ group that was launched last year, said: “We’re proud to support and work alongside a club that is committed to creating an inclusive environment for LGBT+ people.
“There is still a lot more work to do but this partnership with Stonewall is another welcome step in the right direction.”
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