Fan attitudes towards sexual minorities in German men’s football

Julia Walser, Thomas Fletcher, Rory Magrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article investigates German football fans’ attitudes towards homosexuality. Drawing on an anonymous online survey with 212 Germans football fans, this article is the first to empirically investigate attitudes towards homosexuality in German football. Contrary to ongoing claims that German football remains hostile to sexual minorities, 95% of respondents were supportive of same-sex social and legal rights, while 81% espoused support for an ‘out’ gay male professional player. Despite this, however, 90% also believed that homophobia was still a major problem in German football, as evidenced by its hypermasculine environment, lack of out players and the prominence of homosexually themed language at events. While the presence of this language has previously been argued as evidence of pure, undiluted homophobia this research highlights the complexity of this language, and supports calls to recognise intent, context, and effect in the utility of homosexually themed language. This research develops existing work on equality, diversity and inclusion in the context of leisure and fandom. It provides further evidence that narratives regarding sport’s intolerance of homosexuality are outdated. Findings are more progressive than other research on German sport and confirm that German football has become more acceptant of the idea of inclusive masculinities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLeisure Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2021

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