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Comment: The FA has a serious job of building trust with LGBT people

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  1. Great comment piece Adrian

  2. Frank Boulton 7 Jan 2014, 11:58am

    Yes, Adrian, another fine piece of writing, from which I have learned much.

    If Michael Johnson were being appointed to any other position, I could let him have his opinion and accept his assertion that he has progressed with his views of LGBTI people. However, I cannot see how it is constructive to appoint him to an equalities committee in the light of his past hateful comments. “Detestable” is a very strong word.

  3. Frank Boulton 7 Jan 2014, 12:03pm

    Adrian, I note your comments about the exclusion of non-believers from Faith in Football. Their exclusion significantly biases football in favour of homophobia and against the inclusion of LGBTI people. I would also like to ask why we should be called “non-believers”, with all of its negative connotations of lack of values and principles. As an Atheist and Humanist, I’m a believer. I believe in science and rationalism. I believe in empirical evidence. I believe that the evidence indicates that there are probably no supernatural beings. I believe in values such as understanding, acceptance, reconciliation, justice, peace and compassion. And I believe in ethics. (Note that I use the word “ethics” rather than “morality”.)

    1. Thanks Frank – may I address both points above: the FA couldn’t get off to a worse start could it?! The FA must now know that if it is remotely suspected of not taking homophobia seriously, it will be all over the news headlines again and again. Johnson would not be on that panel if they had done their job properly. Still, here we are. I want to give this individual a second chance – what he does and says will be watched closely, and judged accordingly.
      Re: ‘non-believer’ – used as a demarcation in this context. Prefer to say: I believe, rather than believe ‘in’. ‘Non-faith’ better. The FA should think carefully about embarking on all this – all this awareness-raising seemingly goes in just one direction. The leaflets of various religions are also intended for the non-religious I suppose; that is fine, though I’d expect equal enthusiasm for giving Muslim and Catholic children leaflets on humanism, or indeed, about LGBT people. Mutual understanding is by definition a two-way street.

      1. Frank Boulton 7 Jan 2014, 2:47pm

        Thanks, Adrian. Your willingness to give Johnson a second chance is laudable. However, in the real world (in contrast to hypothetical ethical principles), right not only needs to be done; it needs to be seen to be done as well. I doubt if LGBTI people can now trust the IAB.

        I don’t like “non-believer” because of the way that linguistic negatives are perceived and so I’m not happy with “non-faith” either. I really don’t have a good alternative but I’m hoping that someone might suggest one. We shouldn’t define ourselves in terms of others, because it makes us sound defective. I also saw it as a good opportunity to educate people that Atheism and Humanism are systems of belief in positive values and principle rather than the absence of belief in supernatural beings and the absence of ethics.

        1. Sounds good… Do a pamphlet for the FA on it, to go alongside their information sheets on all the religions!

          1. Frank Boulton 8 Jan 2014, 12:10pm

            I’ll see what I can put together, when I get a little time.

  4. I’m particularly horrified to see the silence of organisations that are supposed to be fighting homophobia in football and sports in general. Outsports, Kickitout, thejustincampaign; none of their websites mention this bigot – and they’re used to try and present the FA as caring about equality

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