He is absolutely correct when he says that homophobia in football is largely the fault of the FA.
Racism on the terrace is not tolerated because fans know that they will be barred from attending matches if they engage in racist chanting.
Homophobic chanting is accepted by the FA and therefore happens at matches.
An anti-homophobia campaign needs to be directed squarely at the hierarchy and board of the FA. The bigots on the board of the FA must be identified and fired.
Gareth Thomas was an openly gay rugby player and felt able to come out.
Donal Og Cusack is an openly gay hurling player and felt able to come out.
Neither hurling or rugby fans are more intrinsically tolerant than football fans.
Then again the management of those sports seem less bigotted than the FA.
The only football player to ever come out in British professional football was Justin Fashanu. He was abandoned by the FA, abandoned by his team, hounded out of his sport and ended up committing suicide,
Well thanks for stating the obvious John, now what do you suggest be done to change homophobia in sports?
Amaechi has made these statements before.
I think the board of the FA needs to be identified by name and then questioned about what they intend to do to stamp out homophobia in their sport.,
And their responses publicised.
We all know that homophobia is a problem in sport, We now need to start identifying the individuals responsible for eliminating it and to start piling the pressure on them to make sure they deal with it.
I think his suggestion as to what they do is implicit in what he says…
have a read…
Dare I add that the FA and hierarchy of football- including the editors of the Red Top papers and the publicists – like Max Clifford- who thrive off them are ALL complicit in maintaining the homophobic nature of the sport. They are all making money by endeavouring to conceal and mis-represent the sexuality of highly paid players. Its all down to money- and dont let’s forget these bimbos who are getting publicity for themselves in the process.
Funny how at one time sports were played naked by young men who thought nothing of it during the Olympic games, in front of thousands of on lookers. Today they have to hide their bodies, even today the body is considered a work if art by God. What did people do to make a thing of art and beauty into something that athlete’s need to hide today, as well as their sexuality?
Sports will be a hard nut to crack but crack it will. It will be a slow but steady process. The NHL (hockey) now calls a penalty on any player heard using homophobic remarks and if I recall recently suspended one for a couple of games for the abusive tone. Steve Nash (basketball) recently did a PSA for equal marriage in NY and come out again in a separate interview fully in support of same-sex marriage and barely anyone noticed. The whole Chicago Blackhawks team were in this year’s gay pride parade in that city. A little at a time it will happen. Some of us want it to be sooner than later, myself included, but it is happening.
John Amaechi’s comments do not stem from any researched background, but instead he continues to lament sport for being inherently homophobic. A very recent research article by Cashmore (2010) found that 93% of football fans are completely against homophobia. http://jss.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/08/23/0193723511420163.abstract
This is a massive change from the mid 80′s and early 90′s. Lets not suggest all things are bad and realise that times are changing for the better. Yes there is work to be done, and yes the FA is miles behind the times, but lets not deny that sport is changing.
His comments on the FA doing a lot for race and not for homophobia is completely un-contextualised. The FA did nothing to help tackle the issues of race, that was until society had changed its views on it first, and then they simply jumped on the bandwagon. Times are improving all the time for the LGBTQ community, so lets expect the same jumping on the badwagon from the FA this time. 20 years late!
Great article! Mr. Amaechi is a true pioneer and voice for gay athletes!