Openly gay Aussie rules footballer Jason Ball is leading the annual Pride March Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.
Ball, who came out last September and immediately started fighting against homophobia, said:
‘I am very proud to lead this year’s march, and grateful for the support of my team mates, my club, the No To Homophobia organizers and Pride March Victoria.’
Ball’s Yarra Glen Football Club teammates will join him in the march, along with Victoria Police, Marriage Equality Australia and many other groups.
When Ball came out he campaigned for the Australian Football League (AFL) that he plays for to screen a No to Homophobia campaign advert on the big screen at the grand final in September 2013, starting a petition that won over 27,000 signatures.
Ball continues to focus on reducing homophobia in sport. Last Monday he spoke to 100 AFL new recruits about the subject.
The 18th Victoria Pride march will start on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, Melbourne, at 2pm on Sunday 3 February.
Victoria Pride is part of Midsumma, a program of events celebrating queer culture in Melbourne, starting this Sunday 13 January.