‘Repeated’ is the crux of the matter…
Well done to Hampshire Police and Southampton Football Club for taking a stance to discourage, find evidence of and act against homophobic chanting and offensive behaviour.
I hope this will encourage fans, stewards and police officers to take action or seek assistance.
I hope other police services and football clubs will adopt a similar pro-active stance. I hope the FA will demonstrate a strong stance on homophobia.
But what is not said here is that there was no homophobia chanting until the Brighton fans themselves sung “You’re too ugly to be Gay”
I was not at the match, so can not agree with you or contradict you …
I would say, that if the police felt prior to the match that they would engage evidence gatherers if there were acts of homophobic abuse, and then at the match they formed the opinion there was sufficient evidence to arrest for hate crimes; this suggests there was repeated offensive homophobic chanting etc and if public order legislation was used to make the arrests the activity was not simply that of a retort.
It is not a defence to public order offences (particularly if police have warned you regarding your conduct) to state provocation by others … one form of arguably annoying comments by one person do not cancel out offensive comments by others ….
Dont get me wrong here, I am in know way sticking up for the two fans (Who have not been charged) I was just pointing out that it was The Brighton Fans themselves (A Minority) that were singing homophobic songs also. You are right about provocation, but I wanted to point out that its not always black and white.
Fair enough that you were not standing up for those chanting homophobically …
There are always two sides to every story – thats why when the police charge someone, there is the opportunity to present a defence …
They have now been charged with homophobic public order offences
I agree Stu. My hat’s off to them.
Stewards and police should take action against any racist, homophobic or sectarian chanting but it is difficult to prosecute a whole stand full of fans. Morever, there is a ‘crowd mentality’ in situations like this and people who are normally not bigoted when on their own or in small groups will ‘go along’ with a crowd. Yes, prosecute the ringleaders and make an example of many people as possible but I am afraid that you will never eliminate the problem. Just look at Celtic and Rangers, both teams, managers and many fans want an end to sectarianism but the Old Firm Derbies will continue to be flashpoints for years to come.