Having an openly gay football player would be useful, but let’s not forget that football had a gay champion ,long before rugby did – Justin Fashanu.
His treatment at the hands of the FA, his club, his fellow players and the fans was an utter disgrace.
More important than a ‘gay champion’ for football is a commitment from the FA that it will treat homophobia on the pitch or in terraces in the same manner as it treats racism.
The FA has covered itself in shame
When he says he doesn’t think it’ll be as big an issue as everybody thinks I disagree. I think football is inherently homophobic in the same way it is still inherently racist. Its a sport that, due to the way its run and the way its heralded, breeds prejudice.
Justin Fashanu died 1n 1998. Things have not changed that much perhaps but the supportive voices from sport that have spoken out recently will show bigots in a bad light. It won’t be easy, no, especially as there is now so much anticipation – but there will be lots of support for whoever takes the brave step.
Football fans are no more inherently racist or homophobic than rugby fans.
The problem with homophobia in football stems in large part from the institutional homophobia in the FA.
A more useless organisation to address homophobia could not be found.
Just look at the difference between how racism and homophobia is treated in football.
The FA is the problem.