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Monday, November 09, 2020

JBG? survey finds almost three quarters of LGBT+ people need a safe space to participate in sport.

JBG? survey finds almost three quarters of LGBT+ people need a safe space to participate in sport.


LGBT+ campaign organisation JUST A BALL GAME? (JBG?) work to raise awareness around inclusion and visibility for LGBT+ people in football and other sports. As part of our 10th birthday celebrations we have released our report from the survey we conducted earlier this year.

The research published in the documentation was conducted by Lindsay England, founder of “Just a Ball Game?” (JBG?) in partnership with Peter Millward (Professor of Contemporary Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University). This survey is a 10 year on follow up from the original piece of research which was conducted by JBG? a decade ago.

Some of the key findings are as follows:

1.     Just over 73.30 percent of survey participants feel the need to participate in sport or leisure activities in a ‘safe space’ by being part of an LGBT+, or an LGBT+ friendly club or inclusive of all group.

2.     Only 58 out of 133 who responded to the question ‘’Do you feel satisfied with the responses you got when you reported the homophobia, biphobia or transphobia?’’ felt that the response they got after reporting the bigotry was satisfactory. This figure highlights the need for further sensitivity and improvements.

3.     Findings underline those across the survey in highlighting modest improvements in the landscape but still much work to be carried out given that the prevalence of LGBT+ discrimination continues to be high.

Former Everton and Wales goalkeeper (who is also a patron of JBG?) Neville Southall wrote as part of the foreward for the report: “As an ally to the LGBTQ+ community I find it sad that they are still finding that sport still has many barriers for them.”




Chair of AFC Rushden &Diamonds Ralph Burditt says, “"It's excellent to see the results of the excellent work that JBG? have done in compiling this data. We have long known that sport has issues with discrimination on the basis of sexuality, but understanding the detail around this, where the specific problems lie and how the issues are changing with time is a vital next step in working towards a discrimination-free future."

Former professional player and another of JBG?’s patron Adam McCabe had this to say on the report:

“The JBG? report is a valuable tool that highlights the necessity to continue fighting for inclusion in football. As seen recently in the USL Championship regarding the abuse received by Collin Martin, it is as important as ever to educate, define and report issues surrounding all forms of abuse in football. The JBG? report does an excellent job not only highlighting how far the game has come, but also how far we still have to go.”

The report can be read in full here:

It can also be accessed from our blog and website, alternatively you can request a PDF file.




Contact for further information:

Founder-Lindsay England 


Monday, August 31, 2020

JBG? team up with GMB Shout! NW with donation to homeless refuge.


JBG? team up with GMB Shout! NW with donation to homeless refuge.
With this year's Manchester Pride cancelled because of the Covid-19 situation, GMB Shout! NW teamed up with JUST A BALL GAME? and put their time and effort into making a donation of food and toiletries to TRAMWAYS who provide emergency accommodation for the homeless.
The items were gratefully received by the business owner Sonia, who thanked everyone for "The very generous donation given, " and staff member Stewart at the Bolton refuge.
The handover of items was also supported by local GMB Bolton23 branch president Jo Pitchford and branch secretary Alan Flatley along with GMB NW&I political officer Neil Smith. They were all joined by
JBG? founder Lindsay England who works for Events Security Services at the complex.

Several months ago an online poll of 2,109 people by YouGov on behalf of the LGBT youth homelessness  charity AKT (formerly known as the Albert Kennedy Trust) found a quarter of adults in the UK would not feel proud to have an LGBT+ child, as part of a new study.

They  asked people how they would feel in a range of scenarios if they had a child who came out to them as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, other.

When respondents were asked whether they would “feel proud to have an LGBT child”, 26 per cent of those polled disagreed.

Less than half (46 per cent) of people surveyed agreed with the statement that they would feel proud to have a child who had come out. 

We know that LGBT+ youth are disproportionately likely to experience homelessness, comprising as high as 40%  of the total population of youth experiencing homelessness. LGBT+  and young people of colour reported twice the rate of homelessness compared to white LGBT+ youngsters. 



Saturday, May 16, 2020


JUST A BALL GAME?  MEDIA RELEASE                                      


Violence, Harassment and repression of LGBT+ people still exists globally. 

Annually on May17th, IDAHOBIT- International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia is a co-ordinated International grass roots community date to raise awareness around LGBT+ visibility and inclusion, alongside encouraging society to take action against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

For this year’s IDAHOBIT theme of ‘Breaking The Silence’ JUST A BALL GAME? (JBG?) in partnership with LGBT Dorset Equality Network, have released a survey: looking at homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in sport.

It is hoped that whatever the outcomes, and/or differences found to our survey results (and therefore hard evidence collated for use) a decade ago, we can implement the findings to engage in dialog with the policy makers, NGB’s, the media, employers and general public to take action against any discrimination, persecution or hate crime which LGBT+ people face.
Despite advancement over recent years with some athletes ‘coming out’ sports are still very much an area of perceived male, masculine dominance and achievement. Along with the breaking down of these stereotypes and challenging sexism and misogyny there is also a need to try and eradicate to a minimum all forms of discrimination. 

Our survey is anonymous, it will take you around 5 minutes to sign into and complete and will be available to fill out until 11th July 2020.

We have allocated inclusive questions for both LGBT+ people and those who identify as heterosexual to answer to try and establish a balanced overview of what is relevant to all in 2020.


Contact for further information:

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Phuti Lekoloane becomes a patron of JUST A BALL GAME?

Phuti Lekoloane becomes a patron of JUST A BALL GAME?

South African full time goalkeeper Phuti Lekoloane becomes a patron of JUST A BALL GAME? 

As LGBT History Month 2020 kicks off, here at JUST A BALL GAME? (JBG?) we are happy to announce that the only ‘out’ gay South African full time footballer, Makapanstad Romans’ goalkeeper Phuti Lekoloane joins us as a patron.

Co-Chair of (JBG?) Alan Mercel-Sanca says, “We feel privileged when athletes from across the globe join our campaign and are excited at having Phuti on board.”   

Phuti wasn’t always a keeper, during his school days at Nkoana Primary and then Alan Ridge combined school he began his playing days as a right winger and sometimes a striker. 

Sadly Phuti faced bullying at a young age and in those days considered this to be the norm. He quit the game, and instead played netball. Physical harm followed when he was in his teenage years and it’s there realisation kicked in that this discrimination was wrong.

As a full time player Phuti also faced much discrimination and homophobia so it took some years to settle with a team and be accepted. Looking back to when he joined Tornardo FC the best thing about his time there was, Phuti says, “It’s that I was allowed to be myself and express myself all the time. I think the most important thing was I was never reminded that I am sexually different to others, the brotherhood was on another level.”

When asked about his thoughts on joining JBG? and being an ‘out and proud role model’ Phuti says, “ There are big responsibilities in shaping the future of the next generation of young LGBT+ athletes and taking the bait – I’ll help to create a safe space for them.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

JBG? 9th Birthday Celebrations.

                         JBG? 9th Birthday Celebrations.


Following on from planned 9th birthday celebrations JUST A BALL GAME? extended events to a whole week so as to enable our friends and partners to participate alongside our committee members and volunteers.
We are therefore happy to report that the following 9 events took place headed up by JBG? and also the two LGBT+ fan groups of Bradford City and England Lionesses whom we project mange.

We travelled to London and held meetings with both new and existing partners to arrange events for February 2020 as part of LGBT History Month.

We attended the Underground Fan club Lucozade event which was a warm for fans and media folks from within the women’s game prior to the international friendly next day.

We had a meeting with Skye Stewart chair person of Black Country Fusion FC, handing over some training bibs for the ladies team and we are proud to announce that Skye also agreed to come on board with JBG? in a more official role as our second trustee/ambassador.

We held our 9th birthday party in the Premier Inn Wembley Stadium (a hotel we often use or recommend for folks who need accommodation in the North London area) complete with cake, party bags and refreshments for our friends and volunteers, and we had space to showcase our resources and banners to the general public using the hotel.

We had the pleasure of being joined by GMB trade union’s National President Barbara Plant who is one of our JBG? patrons , and on our behalf kindly made a presentation to Skye Stewart in recognition of the LGBT+ inclusion work done by Black Country Fusion FC. Each year we thank an individual, team/club or group or organization who have helped us challenge homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying and this year JBG? presented the silver salver to Skye for the tremendous work done by everyone at the club in grass roots football and beyond.

We took several GMB trade union members who are LGBT+ to the England Lionesses game at Wembley stadium thanking them for their support as members of LGBT Lionesses fan group which JBG? project manage. A great day was had by all and we accommodated our disability members and had a presence inside the stadium with numerous LGBT+ inclusive flags and banners while cheering the team for the historic match.

We presented the new kit to our JBG? ladies 5’s team who play Tuesday evenings at Goals Manchester.

We thanked GMB North West & Irish trade union for their funding over the past 12 months which enabled us to continue with much needed educational sessions, attend meetings and conferences, local pride events and also replenish some of our stocks of resources when we presented framed JBG? football shirts to the Regional Secretary Paul McCarthy and Equality Officer Lisa Ryan.

We celebrated our birthday during weekend long working group meetings in Bremen Germany with our partners from Queer Football Fanclubs. Our project managed Bradford City LGBT fan group are members of QFF and JBG? have partnered and supported the European network of fan clubs for over a decade.

A fantastic year and we are already looking forward to and planning for 2020 celebrations!
Best wishes, team JBG?