What is the point of a purpose if you don’t stand your ground?

Written by

Johan Lawaetz

Let’s talk about: World Cup. Core Values. Pride.

We don't claim to be football experts or commentators. But we do lay claim in knowing something about the importance of organisations having purpose as a guiding principle.

As people following the World Cup would know, our national team, together with several other European national teams, intended to bear the "One Love" rainbow armband in support of the LGBTQ+ community, hence promoting diversity and inclusion. A good intention but nevertheless just an intention. With FIFA declaring penalties for players wearing the armband, all teams announced that they would not be wearing the multi-coloured message on the pitch after all.

Penalising the captains before the match's outset would indeed impose a competitive disadvantage. However, keeping the armband or choosing a different way of making a statement would mark a choice. A choice about supporting the initial message and evidently staying true to the organisation's values and core story. Even if it may incur a yellow card for the player or a penalty for DBU.

A message isn't worth much if there are no actions behind it. In this case, FIFA's potential yellow card to the captain equals a definite red card against diversity, tolerance and inclusion (not to mention the many LGBTQ+ fans looking for leadership in a sport they treasure). And it might as well serve as a call to action for other companies, organisations and industries: stand your ground, put measures behind the values and purpose of your organisation. Otherwise, they aren't worth much.

It's been only three months since Pride last shed its many colours in the streets of Copenhagen. Let's remember that the fight for inclusion, diversity and tolerance is ongoing.

Pride is not one day every year. It's 365 days a year.

Let's talk about Pride Week was first published on the 19th of August 2022. The day before Copenhagen Pride Parade.


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Johan Lawaetz

CEO & Partner Copenhagen

Johan Lawaetz