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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a campaign too far?

For the last six months or so Staffordshire University through 'topfan' conducted research around homophobia in football and its results they claim say that fans would not have a problem if a player/players were to come out in the professional game.What got to me about the research was the way they circulated to the media the findings and left key bits out, even though they had at an earlier date produced a 'summary of results.
They also never highlighted about homophobia amongst the threads and fans comments following the research that was posted to fans sites , bloggs, message boards etc.
So here below is one example so you can see just how much education still needs to be given to those who attend matches and read and write online.

Below is taken from the forum on...... site posted under the heading, "is homophobia in football a big problem?"
thanks for reading,DJ Lindsay.

Apparently homophobia is a big problem in the game and there are certain groups who are out trying to fight back.

Now, I’m totally against discriminating against anyone because of creed, colour or sexuality. However, I’m also very much against celebrity culture, where we have to know every single piece of info about whoever we’re watching on the box. I’m also against groups that insist on ramming issues down the throats of the public insisting we’re always doing something wrong.

The Greens have been telling us we’re evil for enjoying life, our Councils tell us we’re evil if we put a crisp packet in the recycling bag and football clubs are making everything unacceptable at a ground. We can’t drink, we can’t stand and pretty soon, there won’t be anything to sing about.

Now don’t get me wrong, homophobia is a terrible thing. At its worst, people face bullying and even physical violence at the hands of intolerant people. Does this apply to a football ground?

I only ask because to my knowledge there isn’t an outed footballer in the Premiership or any division, so I struggle to see where homophobic chanting can be pinpointed. If saying Sol Campbell takes it up the crack counts as hate talk, then fine… but I thought the point there was that he isn’t actually gay?

These groups are pushing for an environment where songs like that aren’t sung. Well, how far do we go with that? Do we set up a group that protects scousers on the dole from fan abuse? Do we ban Spurs fans from using the racist term Yiddo? Do footballers with famous popstar partners group together to prevent their wives becoming targets? How about the referee abuse that goes on in EVERY game?

If you’re going to go after homophobic chanting, you have to go after it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not justifying any of it. I’m firstly saying that taking the mick from the stands has always been part of the game and secondly, why are these groups trying to dictate players come out when they might not want to?

Whose business is it? I don’t give a rats arse about who a player chooses to spend and evening with. All I care about as a football supporter is what happens on the pitch.

Gareth Thomas is probably the most famous gay sportsman in Britain. He outed himself because it’s what he wanted to. There was only one incident of crowd abuse and the club was fined for not managing the situation.

I just think this is one campaign too far and yet another attempt to tar Football spectators as Neanderthal and uncultured. You’ll always have a subsection of fans who sing songs they shouldn’t, break the minutes silence and possibly even fight. Providing clubs act swiftly, which they tend to these days… I don’t see why when the time does come to have a gay footballer in our midst, we can’t manage the issue.

England is renowned the world over for being a tolerant country, I really don’t think a gay footballer is going be that much of an issue when the time comes.

However, my personal view is that if a players wants to come out, it should be their decision, not a campaign group or a NoTW Sunday special… people’s private lives should be exactly that… private.

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