Parents told 6yo kids must wear pride T-shirts or miss out

Six-year-old soccer players told they must wear pride T-shirts to take part in halftime game.

Children will be banned from playing in a halftime game at the Melbourne Victory’s A-League soccer match next weekend if they don’t wear gay pride shirts.

Parents of kids aged 6 and 7 were advised that their children would not be permitted to participate in a mini-game played during the Pride Cup match break unless they wore LGBTQ+ t-shirts.

The game’s registration form advised parents:

“Please note that Melbourne Victory will be celebrating Pride Cup at this fixture. As such, participants playing half time small sided games will be wearing a specially designed pride T-shirt during the game.

“By continuing with this registration form you agree to your child wearing the MVFC pride T-shirt.”

When parents complained that pre-teens should be “kept out of social and cultural matters” they were advised that they could “participate on an alternative day”.

“It’s deeply disturbing that the Melbourne Victory is forcing 6-year-old children to be moving billboards,” an upset parent told the Herald-Sun.

“While I personally agree with the concept of pride and the safety of all LGBTQI+ persons to participate in sport, primary aged schoolchildren are not the correct avenue to express these sentiments.”

A Melbourne Victory spokesperson said the Pride Cup was “a celebration of LGBTI+ participation in sport”.

“We have put processes in place to ensure those who are not comfortable to participate in the day as a whole, will have the option to participate in another match day they feel comfortable participating in.”

The Pride Cup began last year after Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo became the first men’s competition player to publicly declare his sexuality.

Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory players will take to the field wearing rainbow shirt numbers and armbands when they face off in the match.

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