Following in the footsteps of the Watford Football Club’s giant human rainbow. The German Handball Bundesliga (League) Champions SG Flensburg-Handewitt went up against the Bergisch HC this past Sunday for a special match promoting diversity and inclusion in sport. Under the motto #MachDichBunt (Make Yourself Colorful) and #SGPower, the arena was decked out in banners that read “Handball for Diversity and Tolerance” along with the entire crowd holding up cardboard signs representing the colors of the rainbow.
The special Diversity and Inclusion themed match was the brainchild of SG Flensburg-Handewitt Captain, Tobias Karlsson. Karlsson, in addition to being a handball champion, has been a champion for LGBTI rights. Expressing his motivation for the match…
“Maybe we can show the world out there which values the SG family, but also the handball in general, stands for,” said Karlsson. “We are all the same, but there are still differences in our society even in 2018. It does not matter where someone comes from, what skin color he has, what God he believes in, or what his sexuality is. We are all humans. ”
In addition to leading SG Flensburg-Handewiit. Karlsson is also the captain of the Swedish Handball Team and has previously represented the rainbow colors in 2016 when he wore a rainbow color Captain’s Armband. In addition, Karlsson regularly wears shoes with rainbow soles that have “Diversity” and “Equality” printed on the bottom.
In addition to the big rainbow in the crowd, many of the athletes on both teams wore rainbow wristbands. The team itself has been outspoken on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) in promoting the message of acceptance, inclusion, diversity and equality and displays a rainbow version of their logo.
Despite the rainbow power leading SG Flensburg-Handewitt. Bergisch HC won the match 34:0. In the end though, it was a big win for the Handball community and for representation of LGBTI rights and inclusion in sports.
By Dirk Smith
Photographs by Benjamin Nolte from SG Flengsburg-Handewiit Twitter