The RFL has been named in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index for a third successive year, becoming the first sports organisation ever to complete a hat-trick of appearances in the prestigious list which benchmarks Britain’s top employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) staff.
The accolade comes just two months after the RFL won the Stonewall Sports Award of the Year in recognition of the game’s progressive work to embrace LGB inclusion and tackle homophobia within sport. It also follows a 12-month period in which Super League champions Leeds Rhinos dedicated a regular season game to celebrating LGBT inclusion, London Broncos hosted an LGBT game as part of the Olympic Pride House events and the RFL became the first UK sporting governing body to produce a resource that tackles all six key equality strands: race, sexuality, gender, disability, age and religion.
The RFL became the first sporting organisation ever to be named in the Stonewall Top 100 Index in 2011: the governing body was named in 82nd position in the 2013 Index at Stonewall’s annual champagne reception on Wednesday January 16.
“We are delighted to be listed in the Stonewall Top 100 for a third consecutive year and are very proud of this tremendous achievement, which is a great reflection of everyone involved with the RFL and Rugby League in general,” said RFL Equality and Diversity Manager Sarah Williams.
“We’ve put a lot of hard work into our policy implementation and to developing resources and supporting our clubs in recent years and it is great to see the RFL once again receiving public recognition for the efforts of everyone involved. To see the RFL up there with huge corporations is a huge boost for us all.
“The RFL is committed to becoming one of the most LGB-inclusive organisations in the country and the challenge for us now is not to rest on our laurels, but to keep developing our entire equality and diversity programme and continue the impressive progress we have made in recent years.”
Stonewall Director of Workplace Colleen Humphrey said: ‘The RFL continues to lead the way in tackling homophobia in sport. The commendable work done by the governing body and teams like the Sheffield Eagles and the Leeds Rhinos help prove that no sport need tolerate homophobia.
“Competition for a place in the Top 100 was fiercer than ever this year and every employer securing a position in the Top 100 has performed impressively.
“Gay Rugby League fans across the country will be proud to know that anyone can aspire to join a team and play the game.”