The head of the English Chess Federation was banned from presenting the British Chess Championships because he was wearing a Stonewall T-shirt.
CJ de Mooi, said comments from the organiser left him “shaking with fury”.
The organiser, Lara Barnes reportedly told de Mooi to rethink his T-shirt choice after deciding to wear a Stonewall T-shirt with the slogan ‘Some People are Gay, Get over It’.
De Mooi refused so Barnes asked him to only present prizes to adults.
“I refused. I was either going to present all the prizes or none at all.”
De Mooi told The Guardian.
Barnes denies telling the Eggheads panellist to change his T-shirt but admitted voicing her reservations to him.
“I didn’t think that promoting gay rights, which I thoroughly agree with, while presenting prizes to junior chess players was an appropriate thing,”
“Usually prize-givers for a national event would wear a suit and tie”
“I’ve every sympathy with his cause, but I didn’t think it was appropriate to have the sentiment on the T-shirt in every photograph with junior chess players – under-10s, under-12s and under-14s – promoting a particular sexuality,” added Barnes.
De Mooi, said his T-shirt had attracted positive remarks from guests and competitors alike
“None of the parents, none of the kids, said anything to me that wasn’t completely positive,” he said. “Quite a few of them said, ‘We love the T-shirt, well done for wearing it’.”
Deputy Chief Executive for Stonewall Lara Doughty stated in The Guardian: “We think our T-shirts are lovely and don’t see why anyone would object to anyone wearing one, least of all chess players.”