Equality & Human Rights
The two guiding principles when United Glasgow FC was founded were anti-discrimination and financial inclusion. These principles continue to guide us in everything we do, both on and off the pitch. As a club with equality at its heart, we are united to tackle racism, sexism, sectarianism, bigotry, religious hatred, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and poverty.
United Glasgow Football Club has always been more than a football club and our focus on educating our players, coaches and volunteers on our core values has been something which the club has put an increased emphasis on over the last few years, with hundreds of people taking part in these sessions since 2016. Whilst we can bring people together on a pitch to train or play, it is important to spend some time together to learn about what we believe in and what we are against.
Immigration, Asylum and Tackling Racism
A large part of the work we have done since our foundation is helping refugees, asylum seekers and other migrant communities, access sport in Glasgow and meet new people. Many of our young Scottish players have learned more about immigration, asylum and racism through meeting team mates whose lives have been affected by these issues. Our workshops on immigration, asylum and racism allow players, coaches and volunteers to explore what language around these issues really means, busting some common misconceptions and myths around immigration and asylum and learning about what racism is and what we can do about it.
Even before the rapid expansion of our women's football provision since 2014, United Glasgow FC has always been keen to challenge the macho, "lads culture" that surrounds football at many levels. For too long have people continued to spout that football is a "man's game" and we feel it's important to challenge this fallacy. Our sessions on sexism and women's rights focus on language and discrimination, the ways in which people consciously and unconsciously make spaces unwelcoming for women and looking at which dated, sexist football phrases we would all benefit from retiring.
LGBT+ Rights and Homophobia / Transphobia
With rainbow flags on our jerseys and our club attending Pride in 2016 and 2017, we have always been clear that United Glasgow FC is an LGBT+ inclusive club. However, we feel it's important to go beyond simply symbols and demonstrations. Since 2016, we have been working with Leap Sports and others to help educate players on the language and terminology around LGBT+ issues, what constitutes homophobia and transphobia and why it is important to challenge these to create a welcoming and inclusive space in the club. The sessions include definitions around gender identity, sexual orientation and other terms, discussions around the discrimination faced by LGBT+ communities and ways to challenge these.
Creating Safe Spaces
We have been successful in the provision of football but also in the creation of a space where people are able to mix without feeling like outsiders, using football as an international language.
Researchers from Oxford University's Refugee Studies Centre said in 2014;
“…the team provides an international social space in which participants feel “at home” because of the team’s diversity. It is a space in which participants can forget their problems, allowing them to step outside identities based on their nationality and immigration status to interact equally as footballers. The result is that teammates find common ground on the pitch that serves them in their life off the pitch. This suggests a process which transforms both the Scottish “hosts” as well as the “newcomers”, rather than one in which immigrants learn to “fit in” to a host society.”
We're proud to provide a space that is welcoming and inclusive and have created an education and campaigning arm to the club to this effect, as well as encouraging players to train and play with respect for their teammates, officials and opponents.