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Homophobia in Sport

chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
edited December 2016 in The cake stop
I'm currently listening to a debate on talksport about homophobia in sport and in particular sports people coming out. Given that it is on talksport it is mainly focused on football. Do you think it would be a big issue if a professional footballer came out?

I dont even think it should be news anymore than if someone was to say they were straight but there must be a reason that no footballer is openly gay. is it the supporters? the media for making a big story of it? or just the fact no one wants to be first?
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  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    Unfortunately since there has been so few openly gay football players the first to do so would be stigmatised by the media which is the thing which is preventing them coming out. If it was common and there were already many openly gay athletes then no one in this day would bat an eyelid. As you say, the press are what sensationalise these things instead of just letting them be. There are hundreds of openly gay actors, politicians, singers, artists of so many fields. Footballers seem to be the last bastion of macho homophobia and it's pretty ridiculous tbh.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    i think it would soon be yesterdays story in the media but on the terraces? a different matter, i think they d be crucified by the fans, esp if they fouled up an they know it, so dont come out.
    its also possible that there are not any gay pro footballers?
  • Well for me it's obviously the fans, a lot of sports already have people who are involved with it in some way who are openly gay but mens football doesn't ( If I recall there are female football players have already come out with not much more than a shrug of the shoulders). Unfortunately it's still the go to sport for the knuckle-draggers to attend and revert to their base instincts and I couldn't blame anyone for not wanting to put themselves out there and take it on.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    they gave a statistic that 8% of football fans would stop watching their team if they had an openly gay player.

    which is nearrly 3,000 people at an average premier league ground.

    hopefully they are the older generation of supporters and they will die out soon.
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  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    edited December 2016
    Chris Bass wrote:
    they gave a statistic that 8% of football fans would stop watching their team.

    I don't think that 8% would be missed. Their attitude is not welcome in the 21st century
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'm not sure what it says about the fanbase but if you see something racist or homophobic on twitter - inevitably if you scroll back through their comments - theyll also be a footy fan.

    Not all football fans are idiots.

    A lot of idiots also follow football.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Chris Bass wrote:
    they gave a statistic that 8% of football fans would stop watching their team.

    I don't think that 8% would be missed. Their attitude is not welcome in the 21st century

    I guess the problem is that their views don't differ when they leave the stadium.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • Rugby union.had a few high profile gay men coming out. From that legend of the modern Welsh game, Gareth Thomas. To one top flight referee, also Welsh, who came out on a Welsh tv rugby show. The chat show in front of a passionate rugby fan audience were enjoying the show for some time before a certain camp music came on then that gay referee jumped out of the closet that was behind the presenter. That guy was Nigel Owens.

    Of course football had Fashanau IIRC but I think he wasn't playing when he came out. I think there's one other in UK football but I.can't remember the name.

    Until a truly legendary English footballer turns up and comes out I doubt things will really change that quickly. I think it would have taken Beckham at his height to make much change in homophobic attitudes in football. Never happen but if you believe in ending prejudice in sport, racism or homophobia or sexism, then I think it'll take a few popular footballers to come out and make the culture change. Rooney and Ronaldo for example would be the sort of level to make things change.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    Chris Bass wrote:
    Chris Bass wrote:
    they gave a statistic that 8% of football fans would stop watching their team.

    I don't think that 8% would be missed. Their attitude is not welcome in the 21st century

    I guess the problem is that their views don't differ when they leave the stadium.

    Too true
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,889
    I think it would have taken Beckham at his height to make much change in homophobic attitudes in football.

    Nah, people would have just said "I knew it!" What you'd need is someone who's admired by the knuckle-draggers, someone who could look them in the eye and grunt "me big gay man". John Terry would be the obvious choice for that.
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    It's a shame this even has to be newsworthy. Just shows how backwards many people still are.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 7,172
    There was, of course, one openly gay top flight footballer already...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Fashanu
    Ben

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  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    Well if you listen to the racist abuse thrown at players on the pitch ... do you honestly expect a gay player to be able to play without homophobic abuse being hurled at him ?

    By coming out you are just entering a world of pain .... it wont make it better, you will now just be a gay player that gets taunted in the same way Black people are ... probably by the same people as well
  • Of course football had Fashanau IIRC but I think he wasn't playing when he came out. I think there's one other in UK football but I.can't remember the name.
    As I posted, wasn't Fashanu out of the game when he fully came out?

    If wiki is right he came out at the end of his career. Leatherhead, Miramar, etc! AFAIK that counts as.being out of the game!

    Sad end though. Fled America because of his fear that he'd not get a fair trial because he's gay. He's probably right and.back then over here it was probably the same too!
  • Chris Bass wrote:
    they gave a statistic that 8% of football fans would stop watching their team if they had an openly gay player.

    which is nearrly 3,000 people at an average premier league ground.

    hopefully they are the older generation of supporters and they will die out soon.

    So just for clarity it is a no to homophobia and racism but it is fine to post ageist comments?
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    be thankful you are not fat Frank .. or are you
  • fat daddy wrote:
    be thankful you are not fat Frank .. or are you


    I was piling a few pounds on in middle age until I got back on my bike mate, lost nearly three stone on a gradual basis over the last few years and it appears to be staying off so in a few years you may have to change your user name to just daddy!
  • TashmanTashman Posts: 2,734
    It's a shame that it would even be newsworthy. I like to go and watch people play sport. I don't care what they do outside of the sport, I just want to see them performing their "magic" in their particular arena.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 7,172
    Of course football had Fashanau IIRC but I think he wasn't playing when he came out. I think there's one other in UK football but I.can't remember the name.
    As I posted, wasn't Fashanu out of the game when he fully came out?

    If wiki is right he came out at the end of his career. Leatherhead, Miramar, etc! AFAIK that counts as.being out of the game!

    Sad end though. Fled America because of his fear that he'd not get a fair trial because he's gay. He's probably right and.back then over here it was probably the same too!

    The Wiki page says his clubs knew about his homosexuality.

    And I seem to recall it was known among fans as well?
    Ben

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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,580
    edited December 2016
    fat daddy wrote:
    Well if you listen to the racist abuse thrown at players on the pitch ... do you honestly expect a gay player to be able to play without homophobic abuse being hurled at him ?

    By coming out you are just entering a world of pain .... it wont make it better, you will now just be a gay player that gets taunted in the same way Black people are ... probably by the same people as well


    What racist abuse thrown at players on the pitch - black people aren't taunted at football matches - not routinely of course I'm not saying it never ever happens. It must be 20 years since I heard someone openly shout racist abuse at a football match and that is when I sat in the home end at Grimsby as my side had sold out their allocation and a couple of their fans shouted abuse at Dean Sturridge. Even back then I was shocked as I assumed it was something that had died out in the 70s.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,580
    I think Fashanu's sexuality was rumoured but not definitely out. I remember reading Clough's autobiography where he made some comments about being told that Fashanu was visiting a gay club in Nottingham so people did know at the time but without social media these rumours didn't spread like they do today.
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  • narbsnarbs Posts: 639
    Certainly when Gareth Thomas was at Cardiff it was an open secret that he was gay. I genuinely can't recall one negative comment about his sexuality from Cardiff supporters or visiting fans.

    I don't think I ever heard anything when he was playing for Wales either.
  • I doubt there's going to be much abuse with a RU star coming out. It's been done before and there's not quite the same hostile culture I think.

    Family I have used to go to RL matches and even the most competitive rivalries are kept friendly. They used to say they'd take the whole family to RL matches but never to football. At the time they had a 3 or 4 year old son at the time. My sister even went to RL matches and enjoyed them. She hates football and men's ball sports. Not a sports fan at all but RL she enjoyed watching live.

    I think that's the whole of it. The culture of certain sports make coming out such a news event. It shouldn't be newsworthy but the gay footballer coming out is brave and the culture is the reason why.

    PS for clarity I should say I am no fan of football. I can appreciate the talent and athleticism but almost everything surrounding that I find distasteful in some way.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,580
    http://www.scoobynet.com/1019827-the-ri ... gue-2.html

    Google suggests between a quarter and a third of football crowds are female and the number of ethnic minority fans is above their representation in the population.

    I'm not arguing football is perfect but unless you sit in the rowdier section of the grounds even someone shouting bad language will stick out like a sore thumb. Would a gay footballer be subject to abuse - my guess is that yes initially they would from the rowdier singing sections of the ground and that isn't acceptable but at a guess the main reason most don't come are the same reasons most gay sports people don't and they might include attitudes of team mates, of managers and owners, media profile, wanting their private life to be private and not be pursued by the media and perhaps not being out in public as their group of mates may be very different to the group of mates say a male dancer or actor has accumulated - it wont all be down to fear of crowd reaction.
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  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    I don't even think it's the fan base or press that would cause all of the problems - it would be fellow players.

    Anyone who's even played grassroots football knows a changing room is brutal with "bants" at the best of times. You'd need to be extremely strong minded to come out in that environment.
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    On a similar theme, I was reading about Jimmy Ffloyd Hasselbaink t'other day. Apparently in 2014 Port Vale didn't give him the managerial job because the chairman was worried the racist elements of support would abuse him.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Chris Bass wrote:
    they gave a statistic that 8% of football fans would stop watching their team if they had an openly gay player.

    which is nearrly 3,000 people at an average premier league ground.

    hopefully they are the older generation of supporters and they will die out soon.

    So just for clarity it is a no to homophobia and racism but it is fine to post ageist comments?

    I wasn't suggesting it was just older people, just they are more likely to hold old fashioned views given that in their lifetime being gay was illegal. So they were brought up being told that being gay was wrong, generations since haven't had that. It doesn't mean they still don't have small minded views on it but I think it is probably less represented in the younger ages.
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  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,025
    unless you sit in the rowdier section of the grounds even someone shouting bad language will stick out like a sore thumb
    I don't go to football matches a lot but I've watched Dundee United a few times over the years. The abusive language is continuous and creative, all apparently shouted in a white hot fury and with complete sincerity. The spectacularly one-eyed rants at the ref didn't just happen with contentious decisions, any call against the home team was treated the same.
    I've always assumed that actually there is some kind of performance or ritual element to all this, because Dundonians, for all their faults, just don't come across like this in any other context.
    I've also always assumed this is normal at football grounds? Am I wrong?
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,804
    Outdated and wrong views held by a few bigoted individuals.

    Sectarianism in Scotland is still rife but the governing body has always lacked any appetite for taking meaningful steps to address the situation.

    As for homophobia, I think you need a few brave souls brave the storm and to start the move to greater acceptance.
    And God created the bicycle, so that man could use it as a means for work and to help him negotiate life's complicated journey.
  • To be fair when ever this is raised the objectors are called homophobes / bigots etc but we must remember there are people who find the thought of a man inserting his John Thomas into the waste disposal chute of another man quite disgusting. It certainly turns my stomach.
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