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Homosexuals In Football

Source: (Homosexuality in English football)

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Both players and the media have described homosexuality in English football as a taboo subject. There will be no openly homosexual male players in England's top four leagues by 2020. Some, such as Peter Clayton, who leads the FA's "Homophobia in Football" working group, say that clubs restrict players from "coming out" since their commercial market worth is increasing and could be harmed.

In 1967, homosexuality was decriminalized in England and Wales (but not in Scotland or Northern Ireland), resulting in more liberal public attitudes. Despite the fact that many openly gay politicians and performers have stayed elected and popular despite their sexuality, Football hasn't had the same level of transparency.

Regardless of this, or perhaps because of it, rumors in the press, jokes amongst fans and players, and even angry homophobic abuse continue to be a part of the game.

Most supporters responded in a 2009 poll that they want homophobia out of football, that the FA isn't doing enough to combat the problem, and that they would be happy seeing a player on their team come out of the closet.

Several high-profile England women's players, including Lily Parr, Casey Stoney, Kelly Smith, and Fara Williams, have come out as lesbians, with opinions toward the women's game being more forgiving than the men's.

Homophobia Against Homosexuals

In 1990, Justin Fashanu, the first black £1 million footballer, became the first openly homosexual footballer. Brian Clough describes a scolding he gave Fashanu after hearing rumors that he was frequenting gay bars in his memoirs. "'How do you go about getting a loaf of bread?' I inquired about him. 'I suppose a baker's.' 'Where do you go for a leg of lamb?' 'A butcher's.' 'So, what keeps you going to that bloody poofs' club?' "' ' Fashanu committed suicide in 1998 after being interrogated by police when a seventeen-year-old child accused him of sexual assault, and it has been stated that the tragedy and hatred that befell him after publicly coming out convinced other homosexual athletes that coming out would be a bad idea. The prejudices he faced, as well as the sexual assault charge he was facing at the time of his death, the coroner concluded, likely overwhelmed him.

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English Peter Clayton


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