Kop Outs praise Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool for British LGBT award nomination

Kop Outs Jurgen Klopp LFC Parade 2019.jpg
Jurgen Klopp LFC Parade 2019.jpg

Liverpool’s LGBT+ supporters group Kop Outs have praised Jurgen Klopp and the club after both were recognised by the British LGBT awards.

Klopp has been nominated for Celebrity Ally of the Year while Liverpool’s ‘Red Together’ campaign was named in the Brand and Marketing category.

Paul Amann, the chair and founder of Kop Outs, said he was “immensely proud.

“Jurgen has delivered on the pitch… and off the pitch by choosing to reach out and engage to see what he could do to help get rid of homophobia in football and make it a welcoming place.

“I couldn’t be prouder.”

Mr Amann sat down with Klopp after homophobic chanting during Liverpool’s game at Norwich in August and claimed the video had a “huge, huge impact.

“After I sat down with Jurgen and they broadcast that video the absolute support of so many fans came through, I’d put it as high as 95% plus.

“At the following Chelsea game, I saw chanting shutdown not by police or stewards, but by fellow fans.

“They felt empowered to tackle homophobia head on because Jurgen had spent a few minutes with me having a chat.

“That message empowered our fans to do the right thing.

“I don’t think I could ask for a better authentic ally than Jurgen Klopp.”

Donna Hall, LCR Pride Foundation board member, agreed that Klopp’s intervention “starts to send a message” that “the LGBT community in Liverpool can really get behind.

“Allies are the most important thing… especially high-profile allies like Jurgen Klopp and LFC who have not just a local reach but a global reach as well.

“They’re saying our city is ok for you to be in, its ok for you to be yourself.

“I think that has an impact on the community because, whether you follow football or not, it is about Liverpool as a city and both clubs portray that”.

Mr Amann also praised the club’s ‘Red Together’ initiative describing it as a “deserved nominee”.

He claimed it is “a clear message of unity about what the values of the club are… an embodiment of the you’ll never walk alone sentiment.

“They’re using the soft power of marketing to also push the equality and diversity
message so I think it’s brilliant.

“Visually when you watch the videos you’ll see people in wheelchairs, people of different heritage, LGBT+ people, and what unites all of us is LFC so it’s a really powerful approach”.

Mrs Hall agrees the programme sends a message that “it is ok to be yourself and here is how you can tell us if people aren’t being supportive of you”.

The club’s equality, diversity and inclusion manager Rishi Jain has also been recognised. He is in the running for Business Ally of the year.

Mr Amann said that Mr Jain was “a joy to work with… I really am delighted for Rishi he works immensely hard and has always been a staunch ally for LGBT+ rights”.

Kop Outs was formed by a supporters committee in 2011 and Mr Amann said the nominations were “recognition of work that I’ve been doing with the club since.”

Kop Outs continue to work to make football inclusive for the LGBT+ community and supporters who want to raise issues can find them on Facebook or Twitter.

(Feature image by Pete under creative commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)