The Sydney Swans will host St Kilda at the SCG on Saturday night for the first Pride Game for premiership points in Sydney.
After playing in the inaugural Pride Game against St Kilda in Melbourne last season, the Swans will play host in the annual clash with the Saints.
Swans Chairman Andrew Pridham said the match was an important fixture for the Club.
“One of the core reasons we have a Pride Match is that there’s an element in our society that doesn’t accept people for their differences, and the views of a lot of those people are outdated,” Pridham told the Star Observer.
“I can’t list all the statistics but 75 per cent of LGBTI people believe it wouldn’t be safe to be openly gay in sport.
“The Swans’ view is that football is for everybody and we don’t want to judge anybody. We’re not taking a political stance, but we do want to provide a safe environment.”
Pridham said it was important to understand the match was a chance to welcome everybody to the football in an inclusive environment.
“The fans do take it quite seriously,” he said.
“I know from when we played the first game for points last year, I had a significant number of gay friends and some people I don’t even know call or write to me to say they were incredibly emotional and appreciative.
“They said to have an organisation like the Swans tell them they were welcome and could be themselves meant a lot.
“I think often people in the LGBTI community can feel isolated and have a mainstream organisation like the Swans say it’s fine, you’re part of us, is so important.”
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