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30th Nov 2019

Meet the only out gay referee in men’s professional football

Reuben Pinder

“We’ve seen, especially this year, a prevalent increase in reported incidents of homophobia and racism.”

There are no out gay footballers in English football and only a small number of footballers who have ever played in England have actually come out after retiring.

Despite progress made, homophobia remains an enormous problem in British society and football.

We spoke to professional referee and Stonewall Sports Champion Ryan Atkin about coming out as a gay referee, the homophobic abuse he has faced in the past and why the Rainbow Laces campaign is vital for tackling homophobia in football.