An application from Mayo to wear rainbow numbers in support of the LGBTQ+ community has been rejected by the GAA

An application from Mayo to wear rainbow numbers in support of the LGBTQ+ community has been rejected by the GAA

AN APPLICATION from the Mayo senior football team to wear rainbow-coloured numbers on their kits has been denied by bosses at Croke Park. 

According to Mayo publication Western People, Secretary Dermot Butler informed the monthly County Board meeting last Wednesday that Mayo GAA had sought the permission to have Kevin McStay’s team wear the rainbow-coloured numbers for home games in the 2023 Allianz Football League that application has now been rejected.

The Connacht county and 'Mindspace Mayo', the county’s charity partner, aimed to show support towards the LGTBQ+ community with the gesture.

Rainbow-coloured laces in the players boots are now being looked at as an alternative option.

This isn't the first time the GAA have become embroiled in a controversy surrounding LGTQ+ issues.

Back in 2015, GAA referee David Gough was prevented from wearing a rainbow wristband in support of marriage equality when he took charge of the league encounter between Dublin and Tyrone at Croke Park.

The referee said he was initially granted permission by senior figures in the association until the decision was rescinded by Croke Park authorities.

He was told that the GAA would not allow political statements and wearing the "gay pride" or "freedom" wristband, made up of six differently coloured stripes and signifying diversity in the gay community, breached that rule.

Gough said afterwards: "I had received permission at noon on Friday but then received a number of calls on Friday night and another at 7.30am (Saturday) when they told me they would not allow it.

"At one stage they had offered a compromise where I could wear the wristband under the stands at Croke Park, on the fringes of the pitch or in the dressing rooms, but would have to take it off when I crossed the white line onto the pitch for the match.

"I would not have done that. It would have made it look as if I had something to hide," he said.

Former Dublin boss Jim Gavin came out in support of the referee.

"I wouldn't see this as a political issue, and maybe if he was making a political point then that was not the place for it, but I would sympathise with David Gough," he said.

This comes weeks after the OneLove’ armbands controversy in the World Cup.

Football captains from major nations aimed to wear the armband as a mark of solidarity towards LGTBQ+ people in Qatar, but the players were threatened with sanctions by FIFA and their governing bodies. The gesture never happened after intense speculation and rumours.

Dublin , Ireland - 17 November 2022; The captain's armband of Martin Ødegaard of Norway during the International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Norway at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images)