European Football | Gareth Thomas | Justin Fashanu

UK Soccer Fans Are Ready For An Openly Gay Player

It seems like soccer fans in Europe care more about the way the sport is played than who plays in the games themselves. So says a new research study in the UK:

Justin"In a survey of 3,000 people published by the University of Staffordshire, eight out of 10 supporters said gay players would have a positive effect on the sport, comparable to how the influx of black players helped the games tackle racism in the 1980s and 1990s." 

"'One fan told us: 'I'd rather have a gay player who can play than a straight one who can't.' And this is a typical view, not just from supporters but from everyone associated with football,' said Ellis Cashmore, professor of culture, media and sport at the University, in the Observer newspaper."

About half of those questioned could see a positive impact from a well-known player's coming out, comparing him to Gareth Thomas, who came out at the peak of his rugby career.

The Guardian reports: "Of those football fans questioned in the research, more than 52% believe the greatest cause for a change in attitudes in the game would be a Gareth Thomas-type player coming out. A campaign backed by leading players was also considered by almost 31% to be influential."

One respondent in the study believes an openly gay footballer could be win-win for the player: "He could make a lot of money [as] the first gay footballer....when football joins the 21st century."

The actual first player in the sport to publicly come out was Justin Fashanu who did so in 1990. He sadly took his own life eight years later.

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Comments

  1. The annoying thing for me is that it shouldn't be a question of "are they ready for a gay soccer player." It's a little insulting, like saying that gay athletes shouldn't exist because the fans "aren't ready." Gay athletes DO exist, and the fans can like it or lump it.

    Posted by: Jerry | Aug 8, 2010 1:51:48 PM


  2. Please..the UK is one of the most violent and homophobic places and societies in the west. This is the culture that's given the world it's #1 Chavs,Yobs,Hooligans [American Speak: White Trash]. The amount of violent, alcohol and drug driven antisocial behavior is staggering even by U.S. standards, and British cops do almost nothing and British courts are a joke.

    And do Americans ever wonder where our puritan undercurrent and general tightassedness attitude regarding sex, having fun, etc comes from? Our English and Scottish tight ass Protestant founders. They even banned the celebration of Christmas and dancing in places like Scotland and New England right into the 19th century. Wonder who's responsible for our obnoxious Bible Belt? The tight-assed Scotch-Irish Protestant immigrants who think everything is a sin and the world is going to end in a rapture any day now.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 8, 2010 3:37:24 PM


  3. Oh be quiet - it's a lot easier to be gay in the UK than most places in the US. And I'm not going to go into a lengthly xenophobic diabtribe. That'll be my natural British restraint, I suppose. But the facts speak for themselves. Britain has made enough progress that the current Conservative government supports gay marriage.

    You're relying on some very outdated concepts to make your point ('right into the 19th Century' - I mean, really) when religious zealotry produces more eye-rolling than hallelujahs these days in the UK.

    Not only do you seek to paint Britain one yobbish color, you also blame them for the fact America is still struggling to modernise.

    Besides, I've been in the UK long enough to know that as long as a man can win the football match for you, he can be what he wants.

    Posted by: ExPat | Aug 8, 2010 4:22:59 PM


  4. @rat bastard as a Brit I can say with authority that you are clueless. As a gay Brit I have equal rights in the law as any straight Brit. It is hardly homophobic as a society, like any place there challenges, but overall, I feel safe and protected by law and by the acceptance of the community.

    We as a nation are tolerant and exceptionally integrated particularly in comparison to other western nations. Without exception, bigotry is quickly crushed, and diversity celebrated across all employers, including the military and police services. We, quite frankly, are world leaders, with respect to acceptance of gay men and women in society.

    Posted by: Henry | Aug 8, 2010 4:27:11 PM


  5. Boys, you're both pretty. Actually both statements can be, and are, true. Regressive and progressive elements can coexist in a society.

    It's also illuminating to look at the cultural heritage of our immigrant country, and to understand the mindset of regional populations as coming, in part, from their countries of origin. Often immigrants cling to the traditions and values of the homeland long after those back home have moved on.

    But yeah, good on the Brits, for their advancement.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 8, 2010 4:52:31 PM


  6. I know England and the UK well. My mom is English born and raised. Been there many times. You paint a very rosy picture. I know what the reality is. You Brits are some of the most negative, spiteful, sarcastic people (as a group) that I know. And MANY Brits loath Americans, often based on ridiculous stereotypes. How's it feel to be stereotyped? You like it? I've had a lifetime of hearing some amazingly nasty shit Brits, including close relatives, have flippantly said about Americans and others, right down to mocking American accents, even though if you did the same to them they get huffy and snooty. I've found these people to be remarkably provincial and ignorant, and they aren't unusual. You'll have to excuse me if I take a lot of protestations at my description of British life with a grain of salt. You certainly aren't light years ahead of the part of America I live in. You all need to get out of the UK more often.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 8, 2010 5:09:15 PM


  7. I wonder, do you have an axe-grinding machine or do you prefer to do it by hand?

    Posted by: ExPat | Aug 8, 2010 7:05:07 PM


  8. yeah, whatever@ratbastard. I will say that when I visit england, I feel like I'm in america save the people have funny accents. The obesity rate is just as dramatic...just more fat white people. And no, your average brit isn't superior to your average american. Though, I will say...gay brits are fitter than gay americans, on average...and that is something to keep in mind. The accent just sounds better, too. Even if it's chav trash. As to the social welfare programs, obviously england is superior...and therefore, has a superior civil society...and is superior ethically than the united states. But in terms of intellect? Nah.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 8, 2010 7:19:50 PM


  9. Scotland, though...and Ireland...beyond reproach (despite the backward attitudes toward gays)...as a stout and scotch fanatic, that's sacred ground. I've never really had a sober minute in scotland...and that's entirely because of my psychological predisposition toward scotch, not that scotland is any more saturated in alcohol than england or ireland, or the states. Best scotch I ever had, though (and I drank like a tick)...fucking awesome (the hangovers even felt good)...and to see the distilleries like a schmuck tourist...I loved every fucking moment. This is how god's tears are made! And that from a person without a spiritual bone in his body. And, the best bread I ever had was in Ireland...they really make fun of irish cuisine (Well, fuck me, UK cuisine in general is sport for criticism)...but the bread in ireland is orgasmic...they know how to make bread.

    So good for the UK for being more open about gay players. That's a big deal...the game is more important than the traits (save being a good athlete) of the individual players. No matter what sport, you can always tell a creepy fan from a lover of the sport itself by how much each individual knows about the personal lives of the athletes.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 8, 2010 7:46:06 PM


  10. I agree Tank, there are just as many fattys in England as here.

    Accent? Well man....maybe English accents just aren't exotic to me so I judge them differently. I'm neither impressed nor do I dislike them. I'm not a mindless, goofy Anglophile like many Americans.

    As far as ethics, you got to be shitting me? Ever hear of a thing called the British Empire? And as far as I'm concerned London and NYC are he root of everything evil in our world right now considering their positions as the world capitals of finance and banking. There are other things but not enough room here, suffice to say the Brits certainly ARE NOT morally or ethically superior to Americans. And Brits and Euros lecturing Americans about ethics and morality is LAUGHABLE.

    Superior social services? Yeah Tank...99 weeks of unemployment, food stamps, free/very cheap healthcare if your income warrants it,Medicare and social security, housing subsidies, and so-on for elderly, SSI for mentally ill, alcoholics,drug addicts, welfare for any female with a baby and no baby daddy around (MASSIVE fraud as you know) housing subsidies for the 'poor', housing projects (Brit speak: estates), free education for all, higher education HEAVILY subsidized by government, free emergency healthcare for anyone, MILLIONS of illegal immigrants/migrants (the U.S. takes in more so-called immigrants than the rest of the world COMBINED)....Texas alone has more illegal migrants cross it's borders than the whole EU! America grants automatic citizenship to any birth that takes place in a U.S. hospital (FREE care for those who can't pay!) regardless of the mommies citizenship status (I'm not aware of any western nation other than the U.S. that does this), illegal and legal immigrants/migrants get LOADS of social services, .....the list is almost endless. America is VERY generous with social services (unless of course you're 'middle-class' and your taxes pay for all those generous services.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 8, 2010 9:17:11 PM


  11. I agree also about food in Ireland. I found Ireland to have excellent quality food in general. And I love the soda bread. And LOVE stout. Can drink it morning,noon and night.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 8, 2010 9:20:36 PM


  12. Oops! Forgot our soon to have ObamaCare. I'm sure it'll be just as shitty as the NHS in the UK or worse like Health Canada. Go in for a hangnail, come out minus a kidney and with a raging staph infection. Actually, sounds like a VA hospital visit.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 8, 2010 9:30:30 PM


  13. Oh, you fuckin' teabagger. I don't have the will to refute this shite.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 8, 2010 10:07:21 PM


  14. Yeah, fucking teabagger. Right. No, I'm not. But this Obama plan SUCKS ASS big-time. They should have simply expanded Medicaid. The whole thing is bullshit pure and simple.

    And we have VERY generous social services Tank, including for MILLIONS(!) of illegal immigrants/migrants/aliens. California is broke mostly because of it. This fucking country isn't going broke, it is broke. Open your fucking eyes. Just because you're gay or bi (let's assume you are) doesn't mean you have to like having to pay taxes and fees through the fucking nose to transfer your wealth to MILLIONS of people who don't fucking deserve it. That includes corporate welfare like the bailout and welfare mommies with 6 kids, all with different last names, and collecting SSI, etc.,

    Seriously, this shit is tedious. Just because I'm fucking gay I'm automatically suppose to be a fucking chump. I don't fucking think so.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 8, 2010 11:24:12 PM


  15. The U.S. should bring home our military from Europe,Japan and Korea. Our bases in Hawaii, Guam and maybe a treaty or something with a friendly Pacific nation should be enough for the Pacific/Asia. And there's no need for any military presence in Europe. NATO (i.e. America and Friends) should be abolished or seriously reformed. We do too much of the heavy lifting, the Euros get away with murder in this relationship.

    Globalization is a TERRIBLE idea. The off-shoring of jobs and so-called 'free' trade has been disastrous.

    We need to close our borders to all immigration for a few generations to absorb the MASSIVE number we have, especially over the past 20 years. It would greatly help in improving our unemployment problem and improve wages for those at the bottom.

    Everyone should have access to affordable and good healthcare...but Obama's plan is a bad joke.

    Yeah, I'm a fuckin teabagger. No, I have commonsense. Just because someone is gay, doesn't mean commonsense goes out the fuckin window.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 8, 2010 11:36:55 PM


  16. And if I hear ANYONE, American or worse non-American, whine about people dying in the streets, 40 million uninsured... because of a lack of healthcare in the U.S. I'm gonna vomit. ANYONE can get FREE heathcare in the U.S. if your income warrants it. FREE. In my state that includes FREE drugs. And I'm not even talking about the thousands of FREE clinics available. OR Medicaid and Medicare. Everyone else (most Americans) get excellent healthcare plans through employers or they buy it outright. My Aetna POS II plan is superior to a British NHS plan or especially Health Canada. And health bills/debt can not appear on credit reports.

    And ANYONE...ANYONE can go into an emergency-room and get FREE (and excellent and very expensive) care. I worked in MAJOR hospitals for years and know what I'm talking about. A lot of people talk major smack on this (and other) issues. And 99% of non-Americans don't know what the fuck they're talking about on the issue of healthcare and social services in America. They just repeat biased crap they've heard,watched,or read.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 9, 2010 12:00:16 AM


  17. This is so tired. It's like civics for babies...and economics for dumbies. This is why no one of any substance bothers to rebuff the arguments from the teapartiers or, even, most libertarians...because it's facile and easily refuted.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 9, 2010 12:39:24 AM


  18. ratbastard.

    You are just about the most clueless ever. And you wonder why more and more people around the world consider Americans stupid, ignorant and self-righteous? But of course, you are too much of all three, so you will never be able to learn stuff. Keep swimming in your little pool of self-importance. No reason to counter your statements. Any person with even half a brain, can spot your stupidity a mile away.

    btw, I'm not saying ALL Americans are like this bastard, far from it! Only that they are always the ones making the loudest noise. Kinda like empty barrels rolling down a hill.

    So please keep rolling...

    Posted by: TheNiebur | Aug 9, 2010 11:07:28 AM


  19. Refute everything what I said with facts, INSTEAD OF CALLING ME NAMES. You can't. You just call people names. That's it. I sometimes call people names, but I also talk substantively.

    'Everybody' mocks Americans. Yeah, sure, you speak for everyone...you know all close to 7 billion people on this planet. Those MILLIONS of non-Americans (more immigrants than THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED on a yearly basis...FAR more than the whole EU) are a mirage. The Euros and Brits have a bug up their ass (arse) because they've had a subordinate relationship with the U.S. (there own fault; they prefer to bitch like a girl than do something about it) so they've been passively-aggressively pissing and moaning about the 'Dumb' Americans the same way a girl whines about her dumb boyfriend or husband who never listens to her or pays attention.

    Tank is of course a troll.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 9, 2010 12:20:34 PM


  20. Jesus, the pussies on this board..not all. NO fucking mind of their own, just the party line. We'll give you gay marriage, free condoms, blah blah blah...just do and say what the fuck you're told regarding everything else, or we'll ostracize you from the gay ghetto family. Fuck you.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 9, 2010 12:35:59 PM


  21. lol, you are funny. In a sad kinda way...

    I said "more and more people". That COULD mean from 2 to 12, but it certainly does NOT mean "everybody. But I travel a great deal, and if/when America becomes a topic, it's pretty much "everybody" I come in contact with. And I don't think that's just coincidence. That would be rather bizarre...

    And I don't call "people" names. I called YOU a few. Do you suffer from MPD? Or are you just that full of yourself?

    As for the countering; I really couldn't bother, as I stated in my first post. It is not my fault you are ignorant, nor is it my job to educate you. If I had to educate your kind, I would have little time for nothing else. Like traveling, and actually learning about other places, instead of just baaaaaaabling on. (10 entries. Wow, you ARE that full of yourself...)

    Go on, post #11. This is my last. I have a life.

    Posted by: TheNiebur | Aug 9, 2010 2:09:53 PM


  22. #11:

    You can't refute anything substantive I've said.

    You resort to BS filler.

    And big fucking deal.....you travel! Woo hoo!! So don't I ahole....A LOT! And I've lived all over the place. AND I' grew up in a city (the city,not a suburb) that millions of people from around the world come to ;-)....I'm willing to bet unlike a hipsta like you who brags he/she likes to 'Travel'...probably to get the fuck away from the shitty place you come from.

    Jesus H. Christ you people are LAME.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 9, 2010 4:54:22 PM


  23. shut your fucking face, uncle fucker.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 9, 2010 5:06:02 PM


  24. Someone needs to switch to decaf or stop sniffing glue. Pouring expletives all over the board certainly makes you look very knowledgable. I hope you and america are very happy together in the land of the free (less free for second class citizens). One can only hope that you stay there.

    Posted by: meaculpa | Aug 9, 2010 6:10:20 PM


  25. Ignore the troll (The rat, that is). He craves & feeds on attention.

    Posted by: Deeper Still | Aug 9, 2010 6:59:25 PM


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