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10:51 | 29th June 2017

News: UK

Wed 28 Jul, 2010
By Sam Bristowe


We have a new generation of football fans, managers, coaches and players themselves. They don’t actually care very much about a person’s sexual orientation

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A recent study has shown that 93% of football fans would continue to support their players if they were to come out as gay.

Rumours have always been rife amongst the players within the sport but not one player has come out as openly gay despite much speculation. The last football player to do so was Justin Fashanu in 1990. However, attitudes were very different back then and he was taunted by his fans which later resulted in him taking his own life.



However, according to a survey undertaken by Staffordshire University, the viewpoint of fans today has completely changed since then. Twenty years later and 93% of fans in the survey said they would continue to support their players if they were gay.

The Daily Star reported that Professor Ellis Cashmore, of Staffordshire University, said: “A lot of people said they would prefer it if gay footballers came out because they don’t think they would have to put up with that much abuse.

“The fans are of the opinion that when we watch football every week, we know we are watching gay players but actually it doesn’t matter to us.

“We have a new generation of football fans, managers, coaches and players themselves. They don’t actually care very much about a person’s sexual orientation.”

The paper also reported that chair of the FA”s Homophobia In Football scheme, Peter Clayton, said: “It would take a very courageous Premier League footballer to come out because fans are so vociferous in football in a way they aren’t in any other sport.”

 

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