Brady: Homophobia is as Bad as Racism
For football to battle homophobia in the stands this sort of attitude must be considered just as horrendous as racist or sexist comments. If Max Clifford were to display such an accepting attitude towards racism there would be an instant outcry and he would automatically be labelled as racist. Homophobia, like racism, should not be considered an acceptable societal norm.
We must fight against the passive acceptance of the homophobia in football. It is not enough for people to simply acknowledge that, statistically speaking, some premiership players must be homosexual. For it to be possible for them to choose to publicly acknowledge their sexuality and continue to play football comfortably and happily, people must actively support them.
They need support from publicists, agents, people such as Max Clifford who are close to the players, as well as support from the fans. Perhaps if these footballers had been supported from the beginning they could have chosen to come out and lived happily with this choice, knowing that they would be surrounded by love and understanding.
The need for active support is encapsulated by Kieron Brady, a former Sunderland and Republic of Ireland international U21 footballer who, in a recent interview, stated that “some newspapers are very adept at being able to sustain an agenda without actually being in breach of any legislation. What I would hope for is preparedness among individuals, organisations and equality groups to come out and lambast these newspapers and their agendas.”
Brady also addressed the subject of homophobia directly, saying that “[homophobia has] been described as football’s last taboo…A great victory could be had against homophobia, but it may take an individual to suffer abuse for that to happen. A lot would depend on the response of the football authorities and the individual club and the supporters in treating abuse of someone’s sexuality as something that’s just as unacceptable as racism.”