Stephen Williams calls for zero tolerance of homophobia on football terraces

Stephen Williams MPLiberal Democrat Communities Minister has called for the FA, football clubs and the Police to work together to combat homophobia on football terraces.

From Pink News:

He said: “We need to stamp out homophobia on the terraces with the same vigour that we banished racism. It isn’t acceptable that footballers still feel the need to hide their sexuality out of fear of abuse.

“I want homophobia to be treated with zero tolerance just the same as racism and I want clubs, stewards, the police and FA to work even harder to achieve this aim.

“Football clubs in England and Wales have done a frankly remarkable job at cracking down on racism since it was rife in the 1970s.

“With the occasional exception that draws deserved criticism from fans, our game is leagues ahead of many of our European neighbours when it comes to integration.”

A Lib Dem spokesperson told the Mail: “The powers are already there. This doesn’t need fresh legislation – what it needs is a change of emphasis.”

The article goes on to give examples of homophobic abuse on football terraces.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 20th Aug '14 - 10:46am


    What would you like to see done differently?

  • @The Voice, whoever you may be

    “Stephen Williams calls for zero tolerance of homophobia on football terraces”

    I don’t know which country you are living in but here in the UK football terraces haven’t existed for a couple of decades thanks to something called the Hillsborough disaster. The Hillsborough disaster was an event that claimed the lives of 96 innocent football supporters as a result of a prejudicial attitude towards football supporters that saw them herded like cattle by the police into unsafe stadiums and, in the case of Hillsborough, the fellow supporters, friends and families of the victims and the victims themselves were libelled and smeared by the national media and political classes. 25 years on and the world has moved on. Football is recognised for what it is – a game enjoyed by many people from different classes, races, religions and sexualities. It may not be perfect but it is streets ahead of the world of politics that has regressed in recent ears to being less inclusive, especially the Lib Dem party, which is one of the least diverse mainstream political parties. The prejudice demonstrated in this article shouldn’t have belonged to the 1980s, in the way it did, but that it exists here today is an anachronism that the majority of the population would rightly treat with indignation and bewilderment.

    It seems absurd that I should have to explain why it is prejudiced, but here goes: Why football? Is there any evidence that homophobia is more prevalent in football than rugby/darts/fishing/light entertainment/the media/politics/manufacturing, etc? If there is than that evidence hasn’t been presented in the article. All there is is a link to a bizarre article that quotes a very small number of anecdotes*. The fact that football is explicitly referenced in the headline and article implies that there is a problem specific to football that isn’t present in other industries/ leisure activities, yet there is no attempt in the article to back up this assertion with evidence.

    *The only link to the anecdotes in the article that (a) works and (b) talks about alleged prejudice against a gay footballer is about a German footballer whose colleagues refused to undress in a communal shower with him. This is a very dubious instance of homophobia given that we accept, as a society, that women can shower and change in separate rooms from men so they can avoid feeling uncomfortable about heterosexual men ogling them. What is the difference between women not wanting to undress communally in front of heterosexual men and men not wanting to undress in front of a homosexual man? Anyway, that’s it -the entire world of football apparently has a problem based on this one dubious anecdote.

  • Stephen Donnelly 21st Aug '14 - 7:16pm

    Steve : Google homophobia and football, there is plenty of evidence out there. In my personal experience the terraces are now almost entirely free of racist language, but not of homophobia. You are right about the prejudiced against football fans that lead to the Hillsborough disaster but surely that she lead us to reject all prejudice.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDan M-B 28th Jan - 11:24pm
    I was polled. The question was: "Imagine that these were the only three candidates, but Layla Moran and Daisy Cooper weren't competitive. In this scenario,...
  • User AvatarHywel 28th Jan - 11:23pm
    "it was under Nick Clegg’s watch that we managed not only to fail to win several seats from Labour that should have been easy wins...
  • User AvatarYousuf Farah 28th Jan - 11:00pm
    Since the UK is leaving the EU, decoupling and isolating, as someone else eloquently put it in this thread, would it not make sense to...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 28th Jan - 10:58pm
    Peter Martin It’s all nonsense of course. In any case, what makes you think Lib Dems are in any position to lecture anyone on “cosy...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 28th Jan - 10:50pm
    Peter Martin The last time I checked, London was in the South of England and Labour always has good representation there. That proves my point....
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 28th Jan - 10:50pm
    And thank you very much, Katharine. I'd only add that the stats for all UK Foodbanks show a 22% increase in demand over the last...