Fear Factor – Homosexuality In Football

Justin Fashanu RIP - The only openly gay British footballer

Justin Fashanu RIP - The only openly gay British footballer
An interesting documentary on BBC3 struck up some lively debate among Newcastle and football supporters of all persuasions about gay footballers.

Unfortunately I missed the documentary itself so forgive me for not making reference or doubling up on what was discussed on the program.

From what I gather the general consensus among normal and reasonable folk was one of acceptance, education and open-mindedness towards the subject which is great to see, but why then the reluctance for footballers to be comfortable in coming out to the public about their sexuality?

The hesitancy to do so definitely manifests from fear, but fear of what exactly? The reaction of their colleagues and peers that they train and work with every day? The fear of the media onslaught that may come their way upon going public about it? Is it in fact a fear of rejection from the fans? Or should I say a certain amount of fans.

I don’t have the answer, all I can do is speculate, but my guess would be it would be all of the above, or certainly one of the above depending on individual players circumstances.

I would imagine their teammates, managers etc are just like anyone else in modern society. It is far from the first time they have encountered or worked alongside someone who is gay and would accept it as a part of every day life in the same manner as we do.

On the other side of the coin, maybe I’m wrong on that. When you see certain high profile players embroiled in race rows with opposition players as we have witnessed all too often lately, it makes you think otherwise. Maybe there would be a feeling of animosity from some.

As far as the media is concerned, they have an obligation to accept. No publication or journalist in their right mind would openly condemn homosexuals in football and if they did would no doubt lose all respect and credibility among the reading public.

I think however there is probably a massive fear for a player who is gay that making it public knowledge will bring a media storm their way, for want of a better phrase, made to be the token gay guy and harassed endlessly for stories, comments, you name it.

Whether it be attention motivated by interest, understanding or compassion, it is attention I’m sure any player in question would not particularly be comfortable with. At the end of the day, if they are to be singled out and given such attention, I presume they would much rather it be for footballing reasons than their private life and who or what sex they choose to spend that with.

The final potential motivator of fear is one I think could be a massive influence, especially when we have to witness scenes such as the altercation between the Liverpool fan and Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi, and more recently, the disgusting and pathetic gestures made towards Patrice Evra by a fan last weekend.

Now obviously both cases involved Liverpool fans, and that is unfortunate as I personally know a lot of Liverpool supporters who condemn such actions every bit as much as the next man and are generally a great bunch of supporters. But it has highlighted the fact that there are some, in every fan base, who are living in the dark ages and have no problem racially abusing someone.

I would say this is a definite fear for those players who happen to be homosexual. If it was public knowledge will they come in for the same abuse? Will it in fact be worse, certainly to begin with, as it is something which is a relatively fresh topic in football, but more so because some may see it as even more acceptable to openly abuse someone for being gay rather than being racist.

I can only speculate on to the inner workings of the neanderthal mind, truth is I haven’t a clue what goes through these people’s minds sometimes. What I do know is that neanderthal’s seem to still walk amongst us today and on occasion turn up at football matches.

I’m sure the last thing any player needs is to have someone within earshot while they are playing a match constantly booing, calling them a queer, puff or any other sort of childish uneducated name-calling. Apologies for using those terms to anyone who is offended but merely used to illustrate a point.

All said and done I do understand the fear and reluctance among those who feel they can’t be open about their sexuality. Fact is, generally, it is an alpha-male dominated and supported sport and says a lot about our supposed accepting society that is such an issue for these lads.

The good to come out of things like the documentary, discussion among fans and heightened public awareness is that acceptance comes from such things, and it will do a lot of good to have it in the thoughts of the public rather than being regarded as a taboo subject not to be brushed under the carpet.

Final word goes to Joey Barton, who frustrates one and all at times with his twitter ramblings but at times comes out with something well thought out and insightful that makes us respect his use of position and influence as a high profile player and ever-growing figure in modern social networking.

As well as this, he seems ever-willing to highlight and speak on social issues that really mean something to people, and he should be commended for that.

The more supporters, footballers and influential figures in the game that address the issue and condemn those of narrow thought and bigotry, the sooner it will be something widely accepted and treated as it should be, another norm of modern society.

217 thoughts on “Fear Factor – Homosexuality In Football

  1. BB
    look up ‘gay ref’ on utube
    really funny, dances around when he books people. then there is that S-A player that kissed the ref resulting in an instant red 😯


  2. Mark- Aye exactly its tough at the time but quite frankly, you sort of need it just to get you to “man up” and you get used to it. Its like sports in school, you need it, I don’t care if its competetive and your shite at something and you get teased for it-practice something else, improve.

    All these parents now who wish schools to be completely tolerant and safe for the children-sorry it just isn’t fecking possible and it never will be.

    When I was in both Aus and especially Wales I had teachers and then out of school football/rugby coaches joining in with the banter, wasn’t happy at first and I became pretty aggressive and maybe too nationalistic. But then I chilled out and grew up, its part of life for pretty much everyone at some stage.


  3. Troy
    imagine bremmner playing against cristiano ronaldo. 😆 😆 Only know about bremmner from the damned united. Great film. really love it, not given the praise it deserves. 😎


  4. Been away from here for ages and I come back to this? Didn’t expect to see something so heavy on here. Makes a change from swearing at Perch.

    Anyway, I couldn’t give a shite what a player does outside of the football field as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and its all legal like.

    As for fearing gay men looking at your todger, how many people on here go to a health club or gym or play footie where you change with other men?
    Not all gays have Freddy Mercury style tache’s to give them away you know.

    Anyway, HWTL, Shearer, Demba boys, etc…


  5. Its not just about fear tho, quite simply we cant handle the truth, so its better not to know.
    I dont really know why there is such a clamour for gay footballers to come out. Its purely media driven.
    They would love to put someone on a pedestal, and then totally enjoy destroying their lives.


  6. Newkie
    my P.E teacher still calls people gay and refers to how “nothings wrong with being gay just means you’re arse will be sore in the mornin'” though havn’t heard sinc the anti-homophobia talks and presentations at assembly and that. 😉


  7. Ive got nowt against gays at all, as I said earlier my sis is gay but some young’uns now with there dress sense and manscara & guyliner does make me think its a bit wrong sometimes..


  8. mark
    what p1sses me off is that the affeminate guys/usually douchebags aswell get the girls at school and the norms like me (not a ‘Joch’ but not a ‘nerd’) get nothing. 😥 😥 👿


  9. @micky Toon

    You can often spot them tho.

    They put all their top half on first whilst standing naked below the waist. They take ages to get their kecks on!
    Or they stand bollock naked getting a shave in front of the mirror.

    F@ckin no need for it.

    Mind, Gazza used to do that. I’ve always suspected his mental health problems could be cos he’s hiding he’s gay.


  10. Andy-Aye I did the same when I was in school, Welsh people always got hissy when I told them at least the Scottish put up a half decent fight 😉
    Kinda gutted now though as I sound a bit welsh….only Newport though thankfully, no posh cardiff or rural swansea nonesense 😉


  11. Andy-Exactly, P/E teachers are always the ones to go out on a limb and do what they like. Tend to be the most loved or hated of the teachers. I thought they were awesome though, you could actually have a laugh with them all the time. Most of the other teachers only really chilled out at gcse/a level


  12. Newkie
    funny you should say that as, one of the first things we learn in the topic is how the english annihalted the welsh and stole their best archers before “the mighee scooesh defeetted them at the baull ov Sterrrrllling Bridge”. :mrgreen:


  13. @BB

    Are you not curious which players are gay? I am.

    It would be dead interesting to find out and I bet some major surprises.


  14. Newkie
    generally he was great. will always remember 1st year when he took us out to the muddy pitch to play rugby. the girls were complaining so he made them role in the mud for 20 roles, made the boys count really slowly.




  16. Mark@159 -It was glam rock when i was young .I remember my dad takeing the mick out of Bowie and Alice cooper cause of the make up and long hair and “that bloody racket theyr’e makeing” 🙄


  17. Andy-Sounds like a legend 😀

    As for gay footballers-Pedersen, just has to be. I’d also say Ridgewell and Gardner…just a hunch with those two.


  18. Camp people?
    What are camp people.

    Are those the more feminine gays?
    I honestly don’t think all of them put that voice on. If find the more pissed gay people get, the more “camp” they become, meaning its not put on… It’s actually more natural.

    I think sone just have more feminine qualities than others, just as some men are more masculine and macho than others.
    So I don’t see how anyone could find it offensive 😯

    Hahaha… What a funny topic.


  19. newkie
    what about Shola and Heskie? Have to be to continue to be picked for NU/England. Capelo and pardew are obviously the givers cus neither of the first two could score) 😆


  20. @kimtoon aye, never really thought of that. Bowie is a legend in my eyes.

    Suppose its just fashion. But some guys now go a long way to look good, manicures, fake tans, guyliners etc just to go to town and have a drink 🙄

    I think I’m getting to old or looking good just comes naturally 😆


  21. I have no problem with people being different apart from one thing.

    These people that wear these flat peak caps scew on their head, with their mullet mohawk jeans half way down their arse and they talk like a rapper and do stupid dancing in one spot that looks like they are trying to ice skate in one spot. While listening to crap modern music.

    If my kid turns out gay he turns out gay but if he tries to act and dress like that I beat three shades of shit out of him…

    I’m only 29 but I listen to music from the 70s to 90s. And I still dress like a man… The fads these youngers have these days. I just don’t understand whats “cool”… They look like idiots.

    In my day at school we beat kids up for taking drugs, it was only cool to drink, now days by 21 its cool to be trying to “quit” the powder…

    Crazy world. It’s all gone to shit…


  22. Mark

    I agree, why spend all that money on fake crap to make yourself look good, when you can just do what they did in the old days and feed the girls booze till you look good or they don’t care anymore…

    Or feed yourself booze till you don’t care anymore…

    That’s being a man. 😀


  23. Mark@186 you make a good point there, it was mostly stage makeup .Mind you Bowie was bisexual, apparently. Angie (first wife) was said to have caught him in bed with Mick Jagger! 😯


  24. Fack, that’s three without reply…

    Must be my turn to be Rodz tonight.

    Your all a bunch of c#@*!! Yous can all $%%…

    Ketchup, here we’s just calls it tomatoes sauce… All Gold
    But me toos I prefers HP.

    Bestest sauce in the land behind tobasco… That’s number one.

    And Nandos peri peri. Yous all love Nandos don’t ya. Saffa franchise that.


  25. I see manc shitty are bringing Tevez (woof woof) back.
    Gonna put him in the shop window for a summer sale me thinks.
    Surely he cant be 100% fit. He has done nowt for the last 3 months


  26. Bowie and Jagger, now there’s now ugly bastids.

    Jagger made some good music though. Only ever liked Bowies Under Pressure with Mercury. Them two probably shared the love too.

    Anyway… It’s tiring trying to be Rodz. I’m off…
    It’s 1.30am here 😕


  27. BB

    Nope mate, its Portugese food but the Franchise started in South Africa.
    We had them here for about 25 years.

    Used to be a cheap take out.now its getting expensive. Great food though.

    Dunno if they just a restaurant there or if they’ve released there sauce range, mayanaise, tomato sauce, garlic peri peri is the best.

    We even have Sea Food Nandos in Cape Town.


  28. I’ve got 3 sons and was convinced the middle one was gay, when he started going thru this gothic shyte and wearing white makeup and lippy and shit.
    I tried being understanding and tailking to him about it all and trying to be all modern about it. Inside I was like a raging bull, but the wifey was quite proud how I controlled myself.
    Anyhoo its funny how these things work themselves out over time, if you let them. He was only the first one married, last year, and is back to his natural hetrosexual self again. Phew! ahahaha. 😆
    As parents we worry ourselves sick over the silliest things. 😉


  29. peri peri calamari. Now that might be different.
    muscles in garlic peri peri sauce.
    Perhaps some sea bass too.


  30. Anyhoo its been an interesting article this one.
    Infact the Ranger one was too.
    Good work fellas.
    See yas tomorrow.


  31. Im with you troy.

    I see that it got mentioned a couple of times about it being ‘natural’

    Got some mates who know of gays who are now happily married and have kids. Dunno how that works.

    What worries me is that they will suffer long term as thy will crap themselves all the time when they are older.

    Also I don’t agree with the bombardment of it in school education as young children simply do not understand. And a good friend on mine tried for adoption with his wife but couldn’t apparently the criteria is gay foreign and lesbian before white middle class I kid you not.

    I dunno we live in a modern society i guess.

    But there is no needfor it to be an issue in football. Private is private. And football is football


  32. Tha sounded a bit harsh. 😕
    In essence why does it matter we live in a modem society and that’s that. 😉


  33. Just been on Ed’s site.My word the general IQ of people posting comments on there is between 3-5 🙄

    Simpletons 😯


  34. Rich – One person claims we’ve been lucky in every game while another “fan” hopes we sell Ben Arfa as he is better than us.

    Fucking idiots man 👿


  35. That’s why I don’t even read it anymore……I may get sucked in as they are at my level 😆 ….reet gun at the ready, I’m hunting hooses again 😕


  36. I had to drop this yesterday, the internet was shite, over here. Now I’m not sure if any one will read this but here goes. Like most discussions this got a bit off track, which is good. The ‘knuckle draggers’ from the ‘land that time forgot’ are about to soil hallowed ground soon, March 4th. John O’Shea has a bit of a reputation for being a ‘man’s man’. I know which side of the fence I’m on with this one. I wouldn’t be giving him the ‘kid glove treatment’ just because he possibly bats for the same side as me…………..sexually.
    All in all if you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.

    There are some things worse than being a puff………… 😉 😆


  37. Interesting article, and some cracking comments. I left after my first few but just came back to see what went on.

    hahaha, funny how the ‘homosexuality’ debate eventually turned into ginger 😆

    Welcome to the blog, Bender. I hope to see more from you. It’d be refreshing to see comments from an openly gay Toon fan, well, as open as you can get on an anonymous blog. 😆 I often wonder what people look like on here. Who’s black, who’s asian, who’s ginger, gay, disabled, under 16, over 60 etc. I suppose that’s the beauty of blogging – the anonymity.

    Very interesting points from everyone. Troy, I respect your honesty mate for stating your ‘shower’ views. I’ve got to admit I too would feel awkward, but then again I’d rather not get my kit off in front of anyone, gay, straight or ginger 😆 I think Troy’s reluctancy is down to sexual preference though, rather than homophobia. Of course gay men don’t fancy all blokes, I don’t fancy all women either but it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to get undressed in a womens changing room. I hope that didn’t sound off, I think it’s just the way straight men think, well I do anyway.

    Good post anyway NUFC Links, or Keith as I presume you’re called after Toonsy’s remark. It’s certainly made a change, but been quite an eye-opener to watch a homosexual mass debate.



  38. Richie nowt wrong with being ginger mate, from what I’ve seen you’ll have more than enough to keep any lady happy.

    Rodzilla, thanks for the welcome, thanks to all of you. Not one negative response among them. A bit of banter amongst the serious comments, that’s good. Makes a change from all the nonsense that gets pumped out on yahoo message boards and the old AOL message boards. I might not comment as much on other topics, I’m not a match goer anymore. I gave up years ago, soon after Arthur Cox left. I supported them through the Westwood/Mckeag/Seymour era’s. Getting Cox out 😉 😆 😆 was the final straw. So I’ve paid my dues, and that’ll give you a fair idea of my age group. Actually one of my first matches Newcastle had a centre forward called Barry Thomas, and I vividly remember the Bedford Town FA cup match. Any way that’s enough reminiscing drivel from yours truly. Look forward to reading all your posts on here in the future cheers.


  39. Bender….aye, I always satisfy the ladies first time….at least I think I do, they never come back for more anyway 😆

    Arthur Cox was the start of my match going days, in them days it was a quid(I think) happy days :mrgreen:


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