With 6 billion viewers tuning in from every continent, all eyes are on Qatar for this year's World Cup. There was no better time and no better stage to show global support for the country’s LGBTQ+ community—one that isn’t allowed to exist due to Qatar’s stance on homosexuality, with punishment ranging from three years in prison to the death penalty. So, together with Dr. Nas Mohamed, the first ever Qatari to publicly come out as gay, and his non-profit The Alwan Foundation, we founded The Proud Maroons: Qatar’s LGBTQ+ National Football Supporters’ Group. Our goal? To turn the most silenced community in the world into the loudest, and to create a movement that spans long after the last game.
Named after Qatar’s national football team’s nickname: the Maroons, the Proud Maroons was created to highlight the persecution of LGBTQ+ community Qataris and bring visibility. Nas serves as the president of the group.
We launched The Proud Maroons with a video featuring Nas, as well as a social campaign inviting the global LGBTQ+ community and allies to help bring visibility to the Qatari LGBTQ+ community by posting a kiss, sharing their love and pride, and spreading our message far and wide.
We also invited supporters to visit www.proudmaroons.com and purchase official Proud Maroons merchandise or donate directly to the Alwan Foundation. All net profits from the merchandise go to the Alwan Foundation as they aim to help the local LGBTQ+ individuals through support, advocacy, and research—areas that are completely lacking at the moment.
And we found incredible strength partnerships and numbers with LGBTQ+ fan groups all over the world joining forces to advance our mission, from official groups for Liverpool, Chelsea, LA Galaxy and others, to organizations like Stonewall, to super influencers like Brazilian actor Bruno Gagliasso. The Proud Maroons, and Nas, were also featured on BBC, CNN, Time, the Guardian, and Outsports.