Caitlyn Jenner backs Paddy Power campaign to support LGBT+ causes and inclusivity during World Cup
Former rugby legend Gareth Thomas, rugby referee Nigel Owens, ex-swimmer Mark Foster, England women's football striker Lianne Sanderson and more are supporting the cause.
With 2018 football World Cup underway in Russia, Caitlyn Jenner has come out in support of the host country. While this may come as a surprise to many, the real reason behind the former Olympian supporting a country infamous for its anti-LGBT stance happens to be a campaign that promises to aid LGBT+ causes through donations during the mega event.
Launched by bookmaker Paddy Power, the campaign aims at aiding LGBT initiatives and charities and making football more inclusive by donating £10,000 for every goal Russia scores during the World Cup. A minimum of £50,000, however, has been promised as part of the campaign in partnership with Attitude magazine.
The idea behind the initiative is to "challenge LGBT+ prejudice on and off the field, support footballers and those in the game in coming out, fund educational programmes in schools and colleges, and make grass-roots teams safe spaces for LGBT+ players."
Being associated with the annual FIFA World Cup, that has always been a major star attraction, the campaign has also garnered the support of several A-listers. From Jenner to former rugby legend Gareth Thomas, international rugby referee Nigel Owens, ex-swimmer Mark Foster, England women's football striker Lianne Sanderson, England cricketer Danni Wyatt, choreographer Louie Spence, and Christopher Biggins - many have pledged support to this cause.
In fact, Jenner even took to Twitter to spread the word and let the world know who she will be supporting during the World Cup this time around.
“So why am I cheering for Russia? Well, for every goal they score, Paddy Power is donating £10,000 to LGBT causes," she says in the video posted on social media. "Now, I think this is great. Russia, being one of the most anti-LGBT countries in the world is now going to be supporting the community. So, let’s get our Russia on this year, cheer for them at the World Cup and help support Paddy Power and the community. Hopefully, we can raise a lot of money."
While Paddy Power has been getting on with the annual event, their latest effort is aimed towards inculcating "LGBT+ inclusivity".
“Given they invented Russian Dolls, you’d be forgiven for thinking Russia wouldn’t have an issue with women being into other women," a spokesperson for Paddy Power said.
“Likewise, their appreciation for bears is one shared around the world by the LGBT+ population, so it really is astonishing that they have not used their stewardship of this tournament to champion LGBT+ inclusivity."
“As a result, we’ve stepped in to help. When Russia Put-in a goal, we’ll Put-in £10,000 to Attitude magazine’s Foundation, who will use the funds to make football more LGBT+ inclusive."