The parents of six-year-old school children have been told their kids must wear pride T-shirts in order to take part in an A-League halftime game.
The outraged parents were advised that their children would be banned from playing in a halftime game at the Melbourne Victory’s A-League soccer match next weekend unless they wore LGBTQ+ t-shirts.
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The game’s registration form read:
“Please note that Melbourne Victory will be celebrating Pride Cup at this fixture. As such, participants playing half time small sided games will be wearing a specially designed pride T-shirt during the game.
“By continuing with this registration form you agree to your child wearing the MVFC pride T-shirt.”
When parents complained that pre-teens should be “kept out of social and cultural matters” they were told that they could “participate on an alternative day”.
The Mail Online reports: A furious parent told the newspaper it was not appropriate and kids should be ‘kept out of social and cultural matters’.
‘It’s deeply disturbing that the Melbourne Victory is forcing 6 year old children to be moving billboards,’ he said.
‘While I personally agree with the concept of pride and the safety of all LGBTQI+ persons to participate in sport, primary aged schoolchildren are not the correct avenue to express these sentiments.’
One fan wrote to Twitter that they didn’t believe ‘inclusion was forcing kids to wear pride shirts’.
A spokesperson for Melbourne Victory said the children were not being forced to wear the jerseys and could play another day if they didn’t want to.
‘The Club has not forced any of its players, staff, fans or junior participants to wear or participate in anything they are not comfortable with,’ a spokesman said.
‘This game is a celebration of LGBTI+ participation in sport and we have put processes in place to ensure those who are not comfortable to participate in the day as a whole, will have the option to participate in another match day they feel comfortable participating in.’
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