Football fans in the UK have been accused of abusing their privilege of watching games live by causing havoc at stadiums, including homophobic chants from the stands. This has come even as London Pride was cancelled for a second year in a row.

During Liverpool’s first round match against Norwich, the Red’s fans were calling international Scottish player  Billy Gilmour a ‘rent boy’ because he is currently being loaned by Chelsea to play for Norwich.

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Many fans were confused at how the chants were homophobic. One Twitter user explained the homophobic connotations behind the chant.

“’How is Chelsea rent boys homophobic?’- it’s related to a Chelsea hooligan in the 80s being caught with a male sex worker. The chant implies that all Chelsea fans are gay and the chant implies that being gay is something to be laughed at,” the Twitter user said.

The Reds’ LGBT+ fan group Kopp Outs released a statement on twitter expressing their disappointment in their fans behaviour, which was latter shared by the Liverpool Clubs twitter page.

Great result today marred by homophobic chanting by some of our fans targeting Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour. If you can’t support without resorting to bigoted nonsense, you don’t understand YNWA.”

Pride March Cancelled

While soccer fans are returning to stadiums at full capacity, Pride events around the UK have been cancelled leaving many LGBTQIA+ people feeling frustrated.

London was the most recent city to cancel their pride announcing over Twitter they could not run the event in a COVID safe way.

“It became clear when working through final risk assessments that our event could not provide the level of mitigation expected from the local public health team and the government,”   London Pride Christopher Joell-Deshields said.

“It would have meant losing the crucial parade and reducing the event to just two or three stages scattered across central London, with limited tickets.”

However, some questioned the decision to cancel the London Pride.

Activist Peter Tatchell in a social media post said that he suspected that reason could be the pulling out of some major sponsors and some LGBTQI+ organisations.

“This comes in the wake of damaging allegations of racism and bullying within the Pride organisation, which have still not been investigated and which may or may not have been a factor in their decisions,” said Tatchell.

 

Football Matches Go Ahead With Fans In The Stadium

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LGBTQIA+ people have pointed out the hypocrisy of Pride being cancelled while football matches with audience allowed to still get to go ahead.

“The Euro events happened while restrictions were still in place. The council provided Trafalgar Square and the police to support it,” one twitter use said.

In an opinion piece for Metro Tommy Gilchrist also questioned why football matches were allowed to still happen this year

It seems perfectly acceptable for tens of thousands of football fans to come together – largely unmasked and (at the time) unvaccinated,” Gilchrist said, adding, And yet we in the LGBT+ community are told by Pride in London that we must wait another year to decry the attacks on us, and on our rights.

Taking Down Pride Flag

In another  first round of the Premier League match between the Tottenham Spurs and Manchester City, Talk Sport reporter Faye Carruthers  tweeted video footage of Manchester City fans taking down the Spurs pride flag that was on display during the match.

“Fans on the pitch and Man City supporters remonstrating with their own players – City fans have untied the @SpursLGBT flag in the far corner as well. All got a bit niggly and nasty at the end – injury to Gundogan as well,” the tweet said.

Soccer fans responded to Carruthers tweet and said that the reason the fans were untying the flag was to help get the child who ran on the field back into the stadium.

Multiple Man City fans, including the child had invaded the field after their team lost to the Spurs 1-0.

“Just to clarify…a few City fans have been in touch to say they were trying to use the flag to help a kid who was being taken off the pitch by stewards. I wasn’t insinuating anything with this tweet, I just videoed what I saw and that was the flag being untied,” said on twitter in response.

The Spurs LGBTQIA+ fanbase the White Lilies also took to Twitter to condemn the Manchester City fans for taking down the pride flag

Definitely not something we want to see but they untie it, we put it back up. We’re part of this family, this community, we’re not going away.”

 

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