The homophobia which surrounds football severely taints the sport. People call it ‘the beautiful game’ – there’s nothing beautiful about homophobia (and the racism) that is football.
The problem is not football fans – the problem is the FA.
Yes of course there are homophobic football fans. But the millions of fans are from all walks of life and in general would be as tolerant and accepting as the rest of society.
The FA on the other hand is made up of men who are unable and unwilling to deal with homosexuality thanks to their blinkered, old fashioned homophobia and the fact that they live in a football bubble.
This was evidenced by their pathetic, miderable shameful withdrawal from the anti-homophobia campaign.
Nothing is going to change until the FA changes.
We need to start weeding out the homophobes in the FA and start naming and shaming and firing them.
And any footballer who engages in homophobic behaviour needs to face disciplinary action.
What is the FA doing at the moment to encourage gay football players to come out, or are they stuill actively advising them to stay in the closet.
After their pathetic withdrawal from the anti-homophobia campaign what alternative anti-homophobia camapigns have the FA been involved in.
Their refusal to deal with their own homophobia and their refusal to deal with homophobia on the terraces shows them in an appalling light. And it is evidence that their ‘Kick it out’ campaign against racism is nothing but PR.
How can we get financial punishments imposed on the FA for their point blank refusal to deal with homophobia
A friend of mine goes to Anfield most weekends to watch the football and makes us all very jealous with the tales of his exploits with the “straight” chavs.
I realise this isn’t a very intelligent constructive comment but it always makes us smile :)
What I don’t understand is why no retired footballers have come out yet.
Does it ever occur to people that there may not be that many gay football players? My guess is that the number of sportsmen who are homosexual would be far less than the accepted average (which in iteself is rather small, at 2 – 3% according to recent stats).
Justin Fashanu was a rare exception. No European player has ever come out (even if it is more acceptable on the Continent), and most men who play football (if not nearly all) either have girlfriends or are married (the vast majority of men do prefer women!). The same would be true for sport in general – with only a very small amount of people who are exceptions to the rule: i.e. the Welsh rugby player, the Australian one, and a handful of ice-skaters and swimmers.
If I remember correctly, all the gay boys at school never took part in games, and used to just stand on the touch-line or bring in sick-notes. Homosexuality and sport don’t really mix – even if the vast majority of gay men seem to idealise the overly toned male physique, and spend hundreds of pounds on steroids and and gym memberships!
I think that the common perception, and probably the right one, is that gay men tend to go into fashion or hairdressing, whereas straight men enter more competitive careers (like sport or banking).
Gareth Thomas is an openlly gay rugly player
Donal Og Cusack is an openly gay hurling player
These sports are even more ‘macho’ than football but neither player has suffered since coming out.
The rugby and hurling sporting organisations have been supportive of them and the fans don’t really care.
I cannot see any valid reason why it would be different for a football player. Except the FA appears to be institutionally racist and homophobic (the ‘Kick Racism Out of Football’ seems to be nothing more than a PR gimmick and homophobia seems to be fully supported by the FA)
Just look at the revoltingly homophobic manner in which Justin Fashanu was treated by the FA before his suicide. And the FA does not seem to have changed a bit – they refused to get involved in the anti-homophobia campaign.
The FA really has a problem. And they need to start sacking the homophobic bigots who are in positions of authority within the FA.
There may or may not be that many gay footballers, but only one has come out over the years. I’d say its a given that there are plenty more still in the closet.
On another point, nothiing will change until the FA, footie journalists(hacks?) and footie fans make it happen.
The fans are not the problem though.
The homophobic abuse coming from the fans occurs ONLY because the FA allows it.
When the FA was under heavy scrutiny for the racist abuse being thrown at players by fans, they then decided to act.
The FA did not step forward to deal with racism until they were forced to.
It’s the same with homophobic abuse. The FA is institutionally homophobic and they will continue to be while they are allowed to get away with it.
As for the notion that not many players are gay.
Well max Clifford says he has been approachd by 3 closetted players and he has advised them not to come out.
He blamed the fans for their reluctance to come out. When in fact it is the FA who should be criticised.
There ARE gay footballers (bisexuals too) as well as those that primarily identify as straight but have a little Kinsey next level up fun from time to time when they get drunk or high enough. Of course there are closeted footballers, you don’t see them because they aren’t pandering to the stereotypes of troting about in a pink tutu and matching tiara lisping and swishing their hands about. They walk and talk like men, ergo, nobody believes there are gay footballers out there, even, for some reason, other gays. Do you seriously think every gay or bisexual boy or closet case ets a job in fashion or interior decorating? There are quite a few closeted cases in sports, in football. Married, with kids even.
Sebastien, your letter is one I would have expected to read in the Sun or Daily Mail rather than in Pink News. First of all, the government estimate for the gay population is 6%, not 2-3%. Secondly your comment about gay men and sport is offensive – Haven’t you heard of the Kings Cross Steelers, London Falcons or London Titans to name a few? There are plenty of gay men who enjoy watching and playing sport. And as for gay men going for careers in hairdressing and fashion, well that would be laughable if it wasn’t so ridiculous. There are gay people in EVERY walk of life.
Richard: I would have expected more like your comments in The Sun. What Sebastien is trying to say is there is a higher than average percentage of straights in football than gays when compared against the norm. What is so wrong with that? Stats can lean quite dramatically in certain cases. I mean, if we based national statistics on male hairdressers or cabin crew, we’d all be gay. Stop being a blinkered prat and read what people say before assuming otherwise.
Sebastian and Spanner, probably one in the same, are both idiots.
Spanner, its still ridiculous to suggest that there simply aren’t gays playing football. I agree, I imagine there is a smaller proportion of gays playing football than in the rest of the population, but there are (and have been) a LOT of football players and therefore are bound to be SOME gays amongst them.
Matt: I never denied that, and that was never my argument. Richard merely implied that the percentage of gay people was equal across all walks of life, which is patently untrue. Gay people, like most other minorities tend to gravitate in certain directions, and away from others.
Oh and Zeke, I am my own man and I don’t need anyone else to fight my battles or hide under pseudonyms thanks. Twat.
What an ignorant and ill informed comment from Sebastien. Firstly, as has been pointed out already, the LGBT population is much greater than 2-3%! The official figure used by the UK govt is 6% although many people it to be closer to 10% of the population. Far right homophobic groups try to belittle and dehumanise our community by claiming that our numbers in society are so small (1-3%) as to make our case for equality over hyped and irrelevant. The fact that Sebastian parrots their false statistics is a good indication of where he stands on gay issues.
Secondly, LGBT are well represented in ALL aspects of life from politics to business and yes even in such “macho” areas as football. Anyone who thinks gay people only become hairdressers or cabin crew are stuck in some time warp and need a serious dose of reality. The difference of course is that many LGBT people feel they cannot be open about their sexuality in many professions due to the prejudice and negative stereotypes that we have seen even on this forum. That is why we need to adopt a zero tolerance approach to homophobia across the board and make the bigots the socially unacceptable ones.
On a more positive note, I feel that progress is being made in most other sports when it comes to accepting gay people, but football, and particularly English football, seems determined to buck this trend and remain mired in its own bigotry.
It’s fun how homophobes now can’t simply say they hate all gays and want us burn in hell. Now they use the false statistics and “reasonable” comments like “gays can’t play football”. I wonder how they got to pinknews website? ;)
Does it occur to anyone that as well as not coming out for fear of ridicule , some of them might not want to come out as whether you have gay sex is completley irrelevant to whether you can score a goal. As a football fan myself , I dont see what sexual orientation has to do with football at all, if a player comes out and can score goals, defend and save then I dont really care. And I do echo Sebastien comments about SOME gay men not enjoying SOME sports,I remember one lad I went to school with who came out never played football etc so its half true!
Unfortunately, ChutneyBear, your admirable indifference to footballers’ sexuality doesn’t appear to be shared by the vast majority of people, and the generally-held view seems to be that a gay footballer wouldn’t be as capable as a non-gay one, sometimes said to be because of the abuse he would receive – a rather circular argument.
As for why more young gay people don’t get involved in football, it may well have to do with its crude and exclusive tribalism in the first place (“he won’t fit in so we won’t let him in”).
And by the way, using one instance to justify a generalisation is an example of prejudice at its least intelligent: akin to saying “I once met a fat, hairy chap trussed up in leather and all he could do was talk about baking cupcakes, so it must be at least half true that all bears are overcompensating for being extremely camp underneath.”
Spanner, #14: “Gay people, like most other minorities tend to gravitate in certain directions, and away from others.”
Yes, but why? Because they/we want to, or because they are the directions we’re channelled into seeing as the only options? The thought that a successful sportsman – or politician or lawyer etc – couldn’t be openly gay would naturally have discouraged anyone who realised he was gay from the beginning. Luckily for us in the UK, this is beginning to change.
Remember, not all that long ago (and despite the monarch being female) it was inconceivable that a woman could be a prime minister. (Ummm, OK, maybe a bad analogy but I trust you get the drift.)
“crude and exclusive tribalism in the first place (“he won’t fit in so we won’t let him in”).” – would this be the exact same for the people on the scene who wont look at you unless you wear skinny jeans and be a screamer? Actually that stereotype you raised is not far off being true about other bears ;) I can only say what I know from experience, I havent actually gone out like your good self and carried out a poll among gay school kids to ask why they dont play football…guess I should ….
It is a shame that people have to live a lie in order to do what they love, being out- it is easy to be cynical of those who are in the closet especially when that lie involves being married and having children. However, there are lots of gay people in this world who don’t actually let their sexuality define them, maybe it is their love of football that defines them instead. If they’re able to have a happy life and do the thing they love for a career then good on them, who are we to meddle just on principle. By all means change the institution in the same way they are in america with the military Dont Ask Dont Tell policy, but I dont see how arguing about how many gay people you think are interested or play football is gonna help?
Tommy Im gonna say thats one good post..you summed it up well mate : o )
ChutneyBear #20: yes, maybe you should. Or, alternatively, you could just open your eyes. You may find that not everyone out there allows their lives to be determined by prejudice (easy though it is to do so).
It’s just possible some of my younger friends are “screamers” in skinny jeans. However, that’s not how I see them. But if any such should disdain me for not fitting into their stereotype, why on earth do you think I should care? I don’t yearn for the approval of shallow people (of whatever sexuality) and can’t help wondering why you appear to.
Tommy, #21: “I dont see how arguing about how many gay people you think are interested or play football is gonna help”
Oh well, some people think trying to understand how prejudice/stereotyping arises, and how it affects people (like us), is a waste of time; others don’t. I don’t. Sorry if it bores you.
As for DADT, thank God we in Britain at least have got past the stage of recommending deceit and acceptance of second-rate status as a way of implementing change.