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David Beckham & Co. On a Homo Mission

What’s that? Gay slurs run rampant in sport? Indeed! So how honorable of Britain’s professional soccer league to spit out a PSA video of its stars speaking out against homophobia.

David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the big names of English football who will be asked to speak out against homophobia in a video to be screened at grounds, including Wembley, and in schools around the country, with the aim to “kick anti-gay prejudice off the pitch and out of the terraces”.

Peter Tatchell, of the gay rights group Outrage!, has persuaded the Football Association and the Professional Footballers Association to guarantee around £20,000 of funding towards the project, and he said yesterday that he believes the video might also encourage some gay players to come out.

“I know of a group of gay footballers who would not feel comfortable coming out at the moment,” Tatchell said. “This video might be the precursor to that happening, and if it’s well received, I suspect it will give some players the confidence to think about coming out.” [Independent]

By:           editor editor
On:           Jan 6, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 9 Comments
    • Smokey Martini
      Smokey Martini

      I’ve said it the last time you posted this news item and I’ll say it again: this project is only going to work if stadiums around the world enforce a zero-tolerance policy towards homophobic remarks. Unless sports fans realize that their anti-gay slurs have serious consequences for them (i.e. a hefty fine or eviction from stadium property) such unacceptable behaviour will continue till kingdom come. You have to get ‘em where it hurts, and a PSA won’t hurt them one bit.

      Of course, the question will now remain whether or not stadium executives are willing to step up its security to ensure that such remarks are kept under control. Sure, it’s easy to give money to a one-time project like this; in fact, it’s effortless. But to amend your codes of conduct and ensure that there are enough security personnel to uphold them at EACH AND EVERY game is a completely different matter.

      You know, much the same way they have ushers/guards at concert halls or movie theatres to prevent people from recording the performance/movie.

      Jan 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nate
      Nate

      @Smokey
      They are trying to “kick anti-gay prejudice off the pitch.” Fining people doesn’t do that. No one is going to say: Oh, since I got fined, I think gay people are alright. Fining people would *maybe* stop people from using gay slurs, but doesn’t help the root of the problem.

      I, for one, applaud these efforts and can’t wait to see the final product.

      Jan 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mikmars1
      Mikmars1

      I am a huge sports fan – and played soccer for years.

      This obviously won’t eliminate homophobia – but getting these mega-stars to speak out is a massive start.

      Handing out fines and ejecting fans – I don’t think would help much. I have found myself ( and I’m sure others have) in situations where folks are using homophobic language in regards to a player – depending on the situation I or others have spoken out.

      I have to say that there has been less and less examples of this – and we owe everyone who speaks out – gay and straight through the years a lot for this.

      On a personal note – I hope my personal favorite – Fernando Torres also comes forward.

      Jan 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Smokey Martini
      Smokey Martini

      @Nate:

      True, fining people won’t change their views towards gays, but providing one less space for them to express these bigoted remarks will, at the very least, make them think twice about saying them out loud. ESPECIALLY if they are personally reprimanded every time they do so.

      Sure the PSA would raise some awareness to the problems of anti-gay slurs, but given that it’s only a generalized message projected on a screen – nothing that can affect the soccer fans directly – it can easily be dismissed as yet another attempt to enforce ‘political corectness’ upon them. At its most extreme, it’ll be dismissed as a product of the ‘homosexual agenda,’ which will only support their distaste for gays and, by association, the soccer players who support them. After all: bigots will, when challenged, find any number of ways to justify their hatred and to keep alternate (and reasonable) views at bay.

      If anything the PSA will work on impressionable children and young teens – the next generation of soccer fans; but for the deeply homophobic, chauvinistic stadium-goers who are well into their 20s and beyond, its bound to do very little – if anything. There’s no harm in trying, though. Which is why I’m all for security (in conjunction with the PSA’s conscious-raising, of course) to ensure and end is put to homophobic remarks.

      [Putting an end to homophobia – “the root of the problem” – is another campaign altogether, and one that would prove as futile as the war on terror. I mean, look at how deeply ingrained homophobia is in our nation’s psyche and how prone it is to be spread using the rhetoric of ‘fear’ and ‘nature’… We can’t necessarily change what people think of us, but I’m a firm believer that we can change how they behave.]

      Jan 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darth Paul
      Darth Paul

      Why does this same info keep getting posted in a slightly different format? NOT NEWS!!!

      Jan 6, 2009 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimmy
      jimmy

      FREEDOM OF SPEECH…even vile speech, must be protected, not punished. When we start restricting or punishing thought and speech we don’t like, where does it stop?

      Jan 7, 2009 at 1:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HYHYBT
      HYHYBT

      “At its most extreme, it’ll be dismissed as a product of the ‘homosexual agenda,’ which will only support their distaste for gays and, by association, the soccer players who support them.”

      Well then: if they grow enough distaste for the soccer players then eventually they’ll stop attending the games, which works even better than kicking them out :)

      Jan 7, 2009 at 3:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Smokey Martini
      Smokey Martini

      @HYHYBT:

      I wish it were that easy! :)

      Sadly they’d only have a distaste for the ones who appeared in the PSA, calling them (surprise surprise)’faggots’ and ‘c*cksuckers.’ But since they’re probably ALREADY doing that… well… so much for the PSA.

      Jan 7, 2009 at 4:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darth Paul
      Darth Paul

      @jimmy: Well, we tougher, more enlightened minds understand that. Some folks need preschoolish refereeing their entire lives, though.

      Jan 7, 2009 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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