Collin Martin, a midfielder for San Diego Loyal, has taken aim at World Cup organizers in Qatar, expressing his displeasure with fans being barred from bringing rainbow flags and hats into stadiums.
Former Wales captain Laura McAllister was asked to remove her rainbow-colored bucket hat before the country’s group stage match against the USA.
At the same game, American journalist Grant Wahl claimed he was told to remove his rainbow-colored T-shirt, while other fans have been confronted by security personnel for attempting to bring pride flags into stadiums..
Martin, who came out as gay four years ago, has since insisted that FIFA should not have awarded the World Cup to Qatar if fans are not permitted to wave rainbow flags or wear rainbow-colored clothing at games.
“I think it’s a shame FIFA didn’t award the World Cup to a more progressive country,” Martin told Express Sport exclusively.
“It was troubling that Qatar was given the World Cup in the first place.” What’s more concerning is that they are unwilling to participate in the conversation about making progress in Qatar for LGBTQ+ people and creating a safe space for them to attend games..
It baffles me that you can’t bring a rainbow flag. I’m not sure how FIFA isn’t allowing fans to wear shirts that support the LGBTQ+ community at the very least.
“That’s my main concern, and it’s an area where I’ve been extremely disappointed with the World Cup in general.” They haven’t been willing to have healthy conversations or address the fact that homophobia is a problem in world sport.
If you’re going to award the World Cup to a country that openly discriminates against gay people, then try to be a part of bridging the gap and helping the people in that country who are dealing with this type of discrimination, and hold that country accountable.
Qatar is held accountable for attempting to advance their ideas about what it means to be gay in their country.
“It’s been disappointing, but I believe we’ve seen that people are talking about it, which is important. Hopefully, Qatar and its people have realized that the gay fans who showed up meant no harm and were simply there to support their country and their teams, as well as to be seen for who they are.”
Collin Martin, a San Diego Loyal soccer player who came out as gay in 2018, has collaborated with BonusFinder and LGBT HERO to better understand LGBTQIA+ representation and attitudes in US professional team sports..