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Lack of publicity for rainbow campaign disappoints Bloomfield
MATT Bloomfield said he was disappointed an anti homophobia campaign wasn't better publicised, despite his team mates giving it their full backing.
Wanderers players put rainbow coloured laces into their boots during Saturday's game against York as part of an awareness campaign launched by gay rights charity Stonewall.
But Bloomfield said the initiative's slogan Right Behind Gay Footballers - created by bookmaker backers Paddy Power - detracted from the serious point the campaign was trying to make.
He said: "We spoke about the positives and the negatives because without a doubt there were both. The slogan was a definite negative for the campaign because I thought it took away a little bit of the credibility of the campaign, but equally the core value behind it was something we believed in and something we've backed before as a club.
"It would have been disappointing for the charity to launch the campaign and no one back it. Even though it's Wycombe Wanderers in League Two, it's still a weight behind the campaign and I'm glad we did it.
"I don't really understand why they didn't contact the Football League and the Premier League to incorporate them. With the slogan and the betting company that backed it, maybe that's why they didn't."
But the long serving midfielder added: "There was a good take up. There were a couple of superstitious ones who had scored the week before who had boots laced up and didn't want to change them, but the lads were right behind it.
"We are a fairly open minded bunch of lads. I gave it my backing and there were a few who joined me as well, which was great."
Wanderers were the first professional club in the country to sign the Government Charter for Action to tackle homophobia in football, with Bloomfield putting pen to paper as the side's PFA representative.
He said: "I like to think we as a club take the lead on these kind of things."
The fans' favourite said he had never heard homophobic taunts used on the field of play, but there are concerns about the reception a player would get from crowds if they ever came out as being gay.
He said: "When I went to a meeting a couple of years ago after signing the charter, a Nottingham Forest fan there said he felt it was the casual language on messageboards and in the stands that's the problem. Racist language isn't acceptable anymore but homophobic language is accepted off the cuff.
"I'm not going to be one who stands here and says someone should come out because it's up to the individual to feel comfortable within themselves, but I hope within the near future someone does feel comfortable enough."
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