In a first for English soccer, Manchester City FC is trying to get more gay men participating in the game, both as spectators and club staff. It is doing so via the Diversity Champions program run by the Stonewall gay rights organization.
Stonewall's chief executive Ben Summerskill hailed Manchester's initiative as 'a significant step': a kick off for the game that promises to field a whole new generation of fans and champs.
Diversity Champions' work is primarily in public relations, and it is through an appeal to the sense of fair play that sport symbolizes that the organization hopes to achieve its aim of enhancing the scope and the reputation of Manchester's favorite sport.
Mr Summerskill described the move as one with benefits for all, not least football-loving families, who would find matches without homophobic hooliganism to be a lot more palatable experience.
He said, "If we help to get the club more supporters, more money and better staff, then they will have better training, better facilities, and it is all part of a virtuous circle of success... It is mainly about Manchester City wanting to be an exemplary employer."
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