Football fans hurled disgusting homophobic messages at football club Tottenham Hotspur… after the club’s players backed a campaign to stamp out homophobia.
The Premier League team took a stand for the Football v Homophobia campaign this week, with all players from the squad posing with a flag calling out homophobes.
The club also collaborated with LGBT supporters’ group Proud Lilywhites to deliver a homophobia awareness workshop to matchday stewards – aimed at tackling the homophobic abuse that is still present at matches.
In case anyone was wondering why the campaign is needed, some of the responses from ‘fans’ of the club when the news was posted to the official Tottenham FC Facebook page tell you all you need to know.
Through the club’s fans were mostly supportive, several derided the issue as a “load of nonsense” and posted homophobic messages, while one ranted: “No decent player wants a dirty poof in his changing room.”
Another joined in, adding: “Pleased some of the lads on here are treating it with the contempt this PC BS deserves.”
However, some took the issue to heart.
One supportive fan joked: “Football 2-0 Homophobia FT. Football FC face a tough fixture against Racism United next week.”
The last UK footballer to come out while active in the sport was Justin Fashanu – who was subsequently subjected to horrific homophobic bullying, before he died by suicide in 1998.
A small number of players have come out since – but only after their exit from the sport. American player Robbie Rogers came out in 2013 after his retirement from Leeds United, though he later signed a contract with LA Galaxy.
Meanwhile, former West Ham player Thomas Hitzlsperger also came out in 2013 – again, as he retired from the sport.
Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt previously said she is aware of several Premiership footballers who are currently staying in the closet, because of fears about the reaction they will face.