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GAA reject Mayo’s application to wear rainbow numbers in support of LGBTQ+ community

It’s understood that while the GAA consider playing gear to be ‘sacrosanct’ and that it should not be interfered with.

Mayo GAA crest. Photo: Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE


Croke Park chiefs are standing over their decision to refuse an application from Mayo to wear rainbow-coloured numbers on their jerseys.

Mayo sought permission from Croke Park to make the change for their 2023 National Football League games.

The move was designed to be part of a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community and was the result of an approach from Mindspace Mayo – the county’s charity partner.

However, it’s understood that while the GAA are happy to consider supporting any campaign, and would be open to the idea of players wearing rainbow laces or armbands, they consider playing gear to be ‘sacrosanct’ and that it should not be interfered with.

A Mindspace Mayo official could not be contacted for comment.

In 2015, the GAA refused referee David Gough permission to wear a rainbow wristband in Croke Park in the build-up to the referendum on same sex marriage.

At the time a spokesperson said: “It’s a black and white issue. The association is apolitical.

"Any member is allowed to have their own political views or opinions outside, but Croke Park is not the place to make political gestures. We have been very consistent on this issue.”

More recently players from Mayo and Tipperary wore rainbow laces in their All-Ireland semi-final clash in 2020. Mayo were also refused permission to play two challenge games next month.

The GAA have strict rules on when inter-county challenge games can take place but Mayo sought a derogation on the basis that the games would be used to raise funds for charity.

Kevin McStay’s first competitive game in charge of Mayo will take place on Saturday, January 14 when they take on the winners of Galway and Leitrim in the FBD League semi-final in the University of Galway Connacht GAA Airdome, while his first league match sees the Tribesmen visit Castlebar on January 28.

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