The Brighten Pride bus is about to make a very powerful statement. The colorful open-top bus will take to the parade route completely empty. The bus is meant for openly gay premier soccer players to ride on, but there is only one thing, none are openly gay. Of the top 500 top-level soccer players zero are out.
The bus is the project of Paddy Power, an online gambling website that has famously supported LGBT rights in the past. The betting firm blames the toxic environment in sport for there being no out players and fear that upon coming there would be lack of support.
A Paddy Power spokesperson said: “The world’s best-watched league should reflect the community around it – in the UK, one in 50 people consider themselves LGBT+. So we’re calling on the league to boot itself into 2018, and create a welcoming environment for its first gay player. We think an out gay Premier League footballer would have an extraordinary effect not just on the LGBT+ community, but society in general.”
Brighton Pride is the largest pride event in the UK. This year, Britney Spears is set to headline the event.