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8% of football fans would stop supporting their team if it had a gay player

football fans would stop supporting their team if it had a gay player
Pixabay – Football fans are still homophobic, survey finds

A new study has found 8% of English, Welsh and Scottish fans would stop supporting their team if it had a gay player.

In a BBC Radio 5 live survey, it found there is a still a huge homophobia problem in the crowds.

There is no openly gay male player in British professional football.

In the online survey of more than 4,000 people commissioned by Afternoon Edition and carried out by ComRes, it found:

  • 82% of supporters would have no issue with a gay player
  • Half have said they have heard homophobic abuse at matches
  • 71% of football fans said clubs should do more to educate fans about homophobia
  • More sports fans (12%) would feel uncomfortable with a rival player joining their club than a gay player (8%)
  • 7% of sports fans would stop watching their team if they signed a gay player
  • 57% of sports fans believe gay players should come out to help others do the same
  • 18% of sports fans believe gay players should “keep it to themselves”
  • 15% of sports fans think having a gay player on a team would make other team-mates feel uncomfortable

It comes as Football Association chairman Greg Clarke told MPs he was ‘cautious’ of encouraging a player to come out as they may suffer ‘significant abuse’ from fans.

He said he was ‘personally ashamed’ players did not feel ‘safe’ to come out.

Justin Fashanu was the first player in England to come out as gay in 1990, but took his own life in 1998. No other male player in the England team has ever come out.

 

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