On Saturday, members of the Panthers were invited to Ashton Gate to watch Bristol City take on Nottingham Forest for this year's Rainbow Laces fixture. It was an opportunity not only for some of the club to attend their first ever professional football match, but we were also given the opportunity at half time to address the crowd, celebrate our relationship with the Bristol City Robins Foundation, and explain why it's so important that LGBT people feel safe and included in football - both as fans and as players.
Prior to the match, the Robins Foundation produced a great video, showcasing their recent visit to our training session with City legend Scotty Murray. The video also features a great interview with one of our newest players, Sammy, who describes how LGBTQ+ clubs like the Panthers have helped her re-find a home in football.
On Saturday, before the match kicked off, our vice chair Pete and captain Ross, spoke with match day interviewer Downsy to describe the work the Panthers do, and why initiatives like Rainbow Laces are still so necessary in football today. Research shows that some fans are still far too comfortable with homophobia and transphobia in football - there is clearly more to do in terms of outreach, education, and supporting LGBT inclusive sporting clubs like the Panthers.
We'd like to extend our thanks to the wonderful Robins Foundation, who do so much to support our work to make football an inclusive place for LGBT people in Bristol, and to everyone at Bristol City and Ashton Gate who made us feel so welcome. We look forward to continuing to work with the club to make sure football is always a safe, welcoming and enjoyable place for everyone who wants to play to support their team.