Raising the issue of racism in one of my blog posts, another key issue in football in Homophobia. We don’t see much of homophobia in football, but nearly three quarters of fans have heard homophobic abuse in football in the past 5 years. Why don’t the majority of us see this happening in football? We don’t hear fans chanting homophobic language at players on television. and many players do not like to come out in the open. Society still accepts you no matter who and what you are. But many of us are not open enough to tell people how we feel or who exactly we are.
I guess footballers have the harder impacts as many of them would come out publicly to admit they are gay, lesbian or bisexual, but they do face the brunt of the everyday media. We all know how many lies the media comes up with and the stories they try and make up. Also, certain fan bases might not accept the player even if they play for their own team as some people have different beliefs to others.
But what I like about football is that the ideas and campaigns that are brought to the game are amazing, we all stand and unite as one, also fighting for what’s right, and equality on the football pitch. By working together we can actually make a difference on the football pitch, which enables us to enjoy the game a hell of a lot more than seeing homophobic abuse being shouted out at players.
‘Rainbow Laces’ is a campaign in football that has been taken to the highest level, which tackles homophobia attitudes in sport. The researchers from this organisation campaign said they did research and found out that males from the age 18 to 24 said that they would be embraced if their favourite player came out as gay or bisexual. WHY? That is what I would like to find out and why fans can’t accept a player for who they are. They still wear your shirt week in week out and still are a personal fan favourite. Fans in this age group are also more likely to express their view as “BANTER”, everyone knows that term is used for a laugh and is not always taken seriously. But the player might take it serious and feel offended.
The chief executive of the organisation said that the majority of football fans see homophobic chants and abuse as a problem, and want the sport to be more welcoming of lesbian, gay and bisexual players and also fans. But again there is a minority of fans who think that this abuse is acceptable. So, lets unite and help kick this abuse out of the game.
It would be nice to see high prolific clubs and players to stand together and help make the sport everybody’s game by showing to the world that homophobic abuse has no place in sport and needs to be kicked out of the game, just like racism. Showing those who target individuals that there is no place in the game for them.
The real issue of this is cultural and that it will take time to change, but this will only become a breakthrough with more role models in the game stepping forward and being open about their sexual orientation. But, so far only a handful of professional footballers have come out admitting that they are homosexual and the first was former Aston Villa and German midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, one of the only openly gay players to play in the Premier League, but he only came out after his retirement. Many players would find this easier as they are not targeted to abuse as much, as they are not in the media lime light.
Football is a sport tackling many issues in the game, mainly racism and homophobic abuse to players, fans and football clubs. Us, as an audience should help stand together more, creating new campaigns and fighting for everybody’s rights in the game asking for more equality.
Thanks for reading this blog post, feel free to share and comment