In an ideal world, regardless of sexual orientation and gender, we could all go watch or play in a football match where ever its held in the country and enjoy it, good banter between fans and players where the game is the winner. Sadly we don’t live in that world, as there are morons up and down the country that seem to think that it is ok for people to be harrassed physically, verbally or virtually because of their orientation. Frankly it is not acceptable and will never be, which is why it is important to have groups campaigning against homophobia. You don’t need to be a straight man or woman to find homophobia appalling and disgusting, at the end of the day as a football fan we should come together to stand up against such vile hatred.
The Football Association together with various clubs up and down the country work together with LGBT organisations to help bring down homophobia in the game. Stonewall and FootballvHomophobia are two groups that work towards making the game we all love, easier for people in the LGBT community, there will be more of that later.
In a BBC Radio 5 Live Survey last year 82% of sports fans said they would have no issue with their club signing a gay player, however 8% of football fans said they would stop watching their team. Whilst it may only be 8% it is still 8% too much and frankly if they would stop watching their team because they signed a player who was gay, then it is no loss to the club or the game. Unfortunately the Football Association Chairman appeared to take the easy way out with his personal view that the abuse must be stopped before a player comes out. Greg Clarke was wrong in his personal view because homophobia wouldn’t be tolerated within the workplace of the Football Association so why should it be allowed to carry on in the stands of a football club, which is as much a workplace as an office or a factory. Those fans who choose to resort to abuse at a game or online should be identified and banned from attending games. We don’t tolerate hooligans or racists, neither should we tolerate homophobes.
The month of February sees the month of action from the Football v Homophobia where clubs, officials and fans can work together to highlight the issues of homophobia in the game. Of course for the group, the it’s not just February but every month they work hard. Im sure they would rather not be having to do it, but all the whilst there is homophobia in the game, they will be working hard to eradicate it. At some point I hope to chat but you can find out more at http://www.footballvhomophobia.com. I also look to chat with gay supporters clubs around the country and how they find tackling the issue.