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Southampton FC fan receives three-year ban and a fine after homophobic chant

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  1. Great work by Hampshire Constabulary.

    Good to see a football banning order in place

    Football banning orders are a great form of punishment. It sends out a message that inappropriate behaviour eg violence, racism, homophobia etc will not be tolerated. It also impacts on the person found to acted wrongly in a manner that (usually) has some meaning to them, banning them from all professional football matches in England&Wales for a specified period of time.

  2. I’m not defending it, but let’s not confuse hateful and totally unacceptable homophobia with stupid, but common-place football banter.

    I’m a Southampton fan and was at the game, though not at the same end as the Brighton fans. I think it’s boring and stupid to aim any ‘gay’ comment at Brighton fans but most seem to be a long way from homophobia (does your boyfriend know your here etc.) and are more like the banter aimed at Liverpool fans regarding unemployment etc.

    As for the comment from the Justin Campaign spokesperson, it shows how out of touch he is. The abuse was clearly not hurled at gay people but Brighton fans. I hope we can all assume that the percentage of Brighton fans who are gay is likely to be similar to any club, including Southampton.

    To further this debate, please could you find out and print what was actually said?

    1. So by your logic if fans started shouting ‘n***ers’ at an opponent team (as opposed to an individual player) then it is merely commonplace football banter and should not be regarded as racist.

      I don’t buy that.

      The FA operates a zero-tolerance policy towards racism. Sadly the FA does not view homophobic abuse in as serious a manner.

      Well I’m glad the Hampshire police do.

    2. @SaintsFan

      So you would say that racist chanting should be permissable in a football match?

      Is that banter?

      Or do you think the football terraces suddenly become an area that is not subject to criminal law in England & Wales? Because its football, suddenly you are transported to a place where the acceptable standards of behaviour do not apply, would you extend this to a pub, a school sports day, a shopping centre … if not, why not? Why should football suddenly be exempt from certain provisions of the law of the land?

      And if racism is not acceptable on the terraces, why should homophobia be acceptable …

      Homophobia (in employment law and this can be extrapolated to criminal law) is not just intolerance etc towards gay people but also those perceived as gay … I would contend that some Saints fans thought some Brighton fans were gay …The assumption may be reasonable, the abuse is not …

      Banter is fantastic and adds to the culture and enjoyment of football. Homophobia and …

      1. … racism is never and should never be endorsed as “banter”

      2. SaintsFan 5 Dec 2011, 1:53pm

        Oh Buddha! I’ll make it simple. The comments (banter or abuse, we can’t say which because we don’t know what was said.) were directed at Brighton FC fans. If the comments had been directed at people known to be gay, I would regard it as unacceptable and homophobic in nature. It was NOT!

        As I said above, it doesn’t make it right but it belittles homophobia if you include this cr4p in that catagory.

        As for comparing this with racism, perhaps you’d like to give me an example of where a group of football fans have had racist abuse directed at them regardless of their race. You can’t because it doesn’t happen. Racist abuse is directed at people on the basis of their race. It can’t be compared to directing comments about homosexuality to a group of (largely) straight people.

        1. @Saintsfan

          Again, homophobia is towards gay people or those perceived to be gay …

          As for racist chanting (a specific criminal offence in football legislation) there does not need to be a target – merely the use of racist language …

          If that is unacceptable, then homophobic chanting is equally unacceptable …

          1. SaintsFan 5 Dec 2011, 3:44pm

            Of course both – when directed at a person because of his or her sexuality or race – are unacceptable.

            Your problem and mine, Stu, is that we don’t actually know what the accused was arrested for saying. Without that, it is hard to say if it was homophobic in nature or not.

            What is clear is that it wasn’t directed directly at anyone known to be gay. Were it directed at an openly-gay player, that would certainly be homophobic and, I would hope, be dealt with in exactly the same way as a racist comment directed at a player on the basis of his race or colour.

            What might help readers is some background to the ‘rivalry’ and ‘policing’ leading up to the said match.

            First, there’s no rivalry between Southampton and Brighton. Quite the reverse, because of a shared rivalry (greater or lesser) between both clubs and Portsmouth. However, through similar channels to this – one at the Brighton Argus, the other at the Southampton Echo – a few idiots stirred up a rivalry, which led to some mild, then ridiculous and finally darn right vulgur comments being directed at Brighton fans. The general response from many Southampton fans, including me, was to express our disgust at the more vulgar of these comments.

            Meanwhile, the Hants policing at Southampton matches this season has been (some say deliberately) inadequate. Away fans, including Millwall and Leeds fans who are known to have a violent few in their ranks, have been permitted to leave the stadium with Southampton fans, causing trouble and resulting in a more aggressive approach by police in more recent games such as against Brighton. It’s in this light that the Chief Constable, who seems to love his own publicity, has decided to act tough. I seriously doubt if he gives a toss what fans chant (including racist or homophobic chants). What seems to pre-occupy him is to ‘increase his arrest figures’ and, alas, the stupid comments aimed at Brighton fans simply offered the police an easy target.

          2. @SaintsFan

            Chanting (whether directed or not) and offensive language regarding race or (actual or perceived) orientation are unacceptable and deserve to be dealt with appropriately.

            In this case two men were arrested. One has been exonerated. That demonstrates that the police perceived they had evidence, sought to detain those they perceived to be responsible, charged those they felt had a case to answer, submitted a file to CPS for review, who decided the evidence was such that there was a case to answer. The case was then taken to court, where the individuals had to opportunity to present evidence from their perspective. The court listened to both prosecution and defence and decided one of those arrested was guilty and one was not. If the one found guilty believes that is an incorrect decision then they have the right to seek an appeal.

            It matters little if I or you know the exact phraseology of what was said. A proper process examining the case has been carried out by …

          3. … the justice system in open court with the opportunity for the person charged to present their own case with legal representation.

            Whether the person(s) were known to be gay or not, we do not know. They may have known gay people in the crowd. Regardless it is insignificant if the person/people the homophobia was directed at were gay or not. The perception of them being gay or an intention to offend by use of homophobic language is sufficient to prove an offence.

            Whether there is rivalry between the clubs or not is irrelevant. The relevant points are whether words were spoken/shouted and whether any person found them offensive or insulting.

            If your complaint is relating to the policing of the matches generally by Hants Constabulary – address them to Hant Police. It does not change the fact and offence occurred – someone was caught, and the police did their job in upholding the law. I don’t know if they usually do this. The last time I went to a Southampton match was …

          4. … at The Dell (so policing probably has changed significantly!) but then at a Saints v Newcastle game the policing was robust and strong and many more Newcastle fans than home fans were challenged/arrested.

            The bottom line is the offence occurred and the police enforced the law.

    3. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 10:26am

      There can be NO excuse for homophobia along with racism and the like. Calling it banter is no excuse and no reason to accept homophobia. Prehaps people like you should grow up.

      It’s usually your sort that can give it but less tolerant about being on the recieving end of so called ‘banter’!

  3. Well done….but the fine was hardly prohibitive…..

    1. The punishment is more the being banned from football for 3 years … breach of a banning order can result in immediate expulsion from a football ground and prosecution for breach of the order with up to 6 months imprisonment

      1. Well pointed out.
        It is a good example of tailoring the sentence to the accused to make it beneficial to all. Simillarly a Friday and Sat night curfew is much better that 2 weeksi n prison for a young guy who have been pulled up for an offence whilst drunk.

        1. Paul Morrison 5 Dec 2011, 11:53pm

          I was a Southampton FC supporter, and though my family, shareholder until my 20s, whern i found the atmosphere at the Dell, even from the Directors’ box, so unpleasant, that I encouraged the family to disinvest. Keith Wiseman was a next door neighbour of my parents. Homophobia, along with racism, is greatest in the target audience of the entertainment industry that is football. This is no surprise if you study the demography of football support.
          Paul

  4. Reported and ignored

    Your continue to lie and detract all you want but this is as much of a comment as you will ever get out of me … lie all you want … your time will come

    1. Above comment was to a regular troll who repeatedly causes offence on the threads …

  5. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 10:24am

    Good but i wait with baited breathe to see if this marks a change in football dealing with homophobia.

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