As the World Cup begins, GLAAD is unveiling resources for fans and journalists covering the games Brazil.
GLAAD is releasing videos in English and Spanish that call for World Cup fans to say "yes to winning and no to homophobia" as they enjoy this year's matches, with social action links for fans. The videos feature GLAAD's National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz and Laura Patalano (Mosquita y Mári) and is directed by Patricia Ovando (Ojos Que No Ven).
To its credit, FIFA's statutes on discrimination include sexual orientation. FIFA has already begun an anti-racism campaign, urging soccer fans from a variety of backgrounds to come together in sport. GLAAD applauds FIFA for its 'Say No to Racism' campaign and asks that FIFA and fans say no to all forms of discrimination including that directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Out soccer player Robbie Rogers supports the campaign.
Unfortunately, in many stadiums across the world, anti-gay language is still yelled and chanted. In some nations, like England, soccer organizations are taking a stand, but much more must be done.
Along with the videos, GLAAD's president Sarah Kate Ellis released an open letter to FIFA, the international organization responsible for the World Cup, calling on them to do more to educate fans about the power of anti-gay attitudes.
The letter to FIFA outlines how the atmosphere of many stadiums makes LGBT fans and their families feel unsafe; creates an unwelcome environment for any soccer players that might want to come out; and undercuts the host countries' struggle for LGBT rights and justice, especially when they are broadcast without any mention made, or attention paid to this homophobic behavior.
Throughout the 2014 World Cup, GLAAD will be working with LGBT Brazilians, LGBT sports organizations and others to make sure these issues receive coverage as the world watches the contests in Brazil.
"We hope to kick off a global conversation on the importance of respect and inclusiveness. This is an important step in our international struggle against discrimination and for human rights for LGBT people everywhere," said GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis.
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Visit www.glaad.org/worldcup for more.