“In order for an athlete to compete at their highest level, I believe it’s important to have a high level of self-worth and confidence. When you are in an environment that accepts you regardless of race, age, religious affiliation or sexual orientation, then and only then can an athlete really push the limits in competition. I realize there is a separation between what we do and who we are but the second we feel as though we have something to hide, our performance suffers. This is the best I have ever played and I think it’s a direct reflection of being proud of who I am, on and off the field.”
Erin Mcleod, Goalkeeper and Olympic Bronze Medallist Canada’s Women’s Soccer Team In London 2012
The Ontario Women's Football League aims to make football in Ontario a welcoming place for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (transgender), two-spirited, queer or questioning (LGBTQ2+). This policy describes best practices for creating a football environment that is safe and respectful for all.
- Establish an inclusive environment of openness and respect for everyone, regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, religion, class, size, or sexual or gender identity.
- Provide strong, positive leadership that models fair and respectful behaviour.
- Distribute and raise awareness of this policy to assist in working with LGBTQ2 athletes and coaches.
- Establish a formal complaint and resolution procedure for perceived violations of this policy.
- Avoid assumptions or judgements based on stereotypes or rumour. Assume there are LGBTQ2 members involved with your team - either directly as athletes, coaches or training staff, or indirectly as family members or friends.
- Never ask someone about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Make support for LGBTQ2 team members visible and intentional, using LGBTQ2 inclusive language.
- OWFL coaches and volunteers who are LGBTQ2 themselves should consider taking steps to live their sport life more openly as an out coach.
- Act quickly to address LGBTQ2phobic language, jokes and actions that ridicule or put down LGBTQ2 people, women or any minority groups.
- The OWFL will include “Other” and “No Response” on any forms or documents where Gender is requested.
- Under no circumstances shall any member program or team limit participation to any athlete based on ethnicity, race, gender, religion, class, size, or sexual or gender identity.
- Perceived violations of this policy should be submitted in writing to the OWFL Co-chairs who will investigate the complaint, provide educational resources to those affected, and if necessary, recommend disciplinary measures.
- Participation: Openly out coaches.
- Representation: Instances of visible ally behaviour.
- Procedure: Club publishing of own equity policies.
- Procedure: Complaints of discrimination by participants.