Football, homosexuality and the English Premier League

Rory Magrath, Eric Anderson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter outlines how the foundations of football led to a culture of hostility. It shows how the last three decades has seen significant change for sexual minorities in English football. The chapter addresses multiple rationales behind the continued absence of openly gay footballers in the English Premier League. The emergence of football as an organised sport can be traced to the mid-19th century and the impact of the industrial revolution. Claims that sports like football would masculinise boys re-emerged in the 1980s, as the HIV/AIDS crisis took effect on British society. Whilst no academic research examining attitudes toward homosexuality among professional football players exists, the case of Justin Fashanu, who came out as an openly gay player in 1990, is clear evidence of homophobia in football. The experiences of Fashanu clearly reflected broader cultural attitudes toward homosexuality at the time in which he came out.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe English Premier League
    Subtitle of host publicationA Socio-Cultural Analysis
    EditorsRichard Elliott
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315636696
    ISBN (Print)9781138640351
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2017


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