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Newcastle United fans group leave Pride in Football network after conflict

2 days ago
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A Newcastle United fans group is reported to have left the Pride in Football network.

United with Pride is the Newcastle United’s LGBT+ fan group and The Athletic report that they have made the decision to leave that umbrella organisation.

These Newcastle United fans have found themselves under attack because of the change of ownership at St James Park.

With this week one of the co-chairs of the volunteer group making it public to BBC Sport, just how bad the abuse has been since the NUFC takeover, especially on social media.

As for what they have actually (supposedly) done wrong, well, it is very much the same story as everybody else who is a Newcastle supporter. That we as Newcastle United fans are caught in an impossible position, having had no say in who owns our football club, we are now expected to answer for who owns our club AND have the answers as to what can be done to solve the human rights issues in Saudi Arabia.

When the takeover happened in early October 2021, the Newcastle United fans group faced criticism after releasing a statement saying that they hoped working with the NUFC’s new owners could be “a positive influence to improving the conditions for the LGBTQ+ community in Saudi Arabia.”

United in Pride also stated that if other parties organised public protests at St James Park on matchdays, it would not be joining in with them.

The Newcastle United fans group saying that rather than ‘burning their bridges’ straight away, they wanted to try and work constructively to see if they could help make positive contributions on various issues, whilst at the same time saying that if they felt they were being used a puppets in any way by the new NUFC ownership, they would be more than prepared to protest then.

Those involved with United in Pride undoubtedly caught in a situation of being between a rock and a hard place, when faced with issues surrounding the new club owners. The bottom line being that sadly they were going to be criticised whatever they did or didn’t do.

Anybody who pretends there was any obvious easy straightforward route for this group of Newcastle United fans to take, isn’t being honest.

Report from The Athletic – 24 November 2021:

Newcastle United’s LGBT+ fan group, United with Pride, has decided to leave the Pride in Football network.

Pride in Football confirmed the Newcastle United LGBT+ fan groups decision in a statement which read:

“LGBT+ fans groups have faced increasing media attention since the takeover of Newcastle United given the questions raised around human rights.

“As we stated at the time, we have serious questions around the governance of the game and suitability of the tests for club owners and directors.

“It is also worth noting for those unfamiliar with our groups that, primarily, we are volunteers and we work on inclusion within the sport because we love football.

“No football fan should be excluded because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

“Our work in this area will continue, and we shall continue to raise the case of human rights — whether in relation to the Saudi Arabian takeover of Newcastle United or the hosting of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar or issues around inclusion on the terraces in the UK.

“Whilst any member leaving Pride in Football is a sad moment, we would like to reiterate our commitment to campaign for LGBT+ inclusion, visibility and acceptance in sport and society.”

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