Professional football (soccer) has typically been a hostile and volatile environment for sexual minorities. In recent years, however, a significant body of academic evidence has documented how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people are becoming increasingly accepted in the football industry (e.g., Cashmore & Cleland, 2012; Cleland, 2015; Cleland, Magrath, & Kian, 2018; Magrath, 2017a, 2017b, 2018; Magrath, Anderson, & Roberts, 2015). Problematically, however, this research has been largely restricted to the attitudes of ostensibly heterosexual male fans, and has thus, inadvertently, excluded the voices of the LGBT+ community. In this chapter, we address this void by presenting data collected in the first-ever academic research dedicated to the experiences of LGBT+ football fans. Specifically, we draw on semi-structured interviews with 35 openly gay male fans to address the role of the Football Association (FA) – English football’s governing body – as well as the clubs themselves, in tackling homophobia in football. Additionally, we also explore the effectiveness of the Rainbow Laces movement.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of Sport Fans and Fandom|
|Editors||Danielle Sarver Coombs, Anne C. Osborne|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Apr 2022|
|Name||Routledge International Handbooks|