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Change to Cougars offer is welcomed
9:00am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
Keighley Cougars have been forced to change the wording of their couples promotional offer for discounted season tickets after a gay and lesbian group claimed it may break discrimination laws.
The Bradford-based Equity Partnership hit out at the rugby league club after it posted its latest October deal on Twitter.
The deal originally read: “COUPLES SPECIAL – an adult male & female can secure 2 ground access season tickets for £300.”
Rebecca Hewitt, chief executive of the Equity Partnership, had called on the club to remove the deal and replace it with one which applies to couples of all sexualities – which it has now done.
Rebecca Hewitt said: “I welcome the fact the club has retracted the wording of the offer but I would like to see them make a more positive statement which encourages all couples, same sex and mixed sex, to take up the promotion.”
She said that she had been “surprised” by the offer, particularly at a time when the Rugby Football League (RFL) – the sport’s governing body – is running its Tackle It campaign in a bid to stamp out discrimination and homophobia in the game.
Keighley Cougars chairman Gary Fawcett, said the club was concerned that straight men would pretend to be gay to take advantage of the offer.
A spokesman said the promotion had been to encourage more women to watch matches, boosting crowds at Cougar Park and reducing the number of “rugby widows”.
Mr Fawcett said the club would honour the promotional offer for gay and lesbian couples and “clarify” the wording of the offer on its website.
He said: “Our concern was that if we stated ‘Cougar Couples’ then non-gay men would team up and potentially take advantage of the discount which is not the point of the promotion. We did clarify on Facebook that gay and lesbian couples are perfectly entitled to take advantage of the discount and we are more than happy to receive them at the club.”
A spokesman for the RFL said: “The RFL is pleased to learn that this was simply an oversight. The RFL encourages clubs to reach out to all supporters and this offer is an excellent example of encouraging supporters from across the community.”