Leeds – the most homophobic fans in England?


For anybody who thinks homophobia isn’t a problem in football or is just “banter”, then a visit to Elland Road on Saturday would have been more than enough to dispel those sorts of thoughts.

There were times when we had to check Margaret Thatcher wasn’t the PM, Princess Di and Prince Charles weren’t happily married, Berlin didn’t have a bloody great wall running through the middle of it or that Nelson Mandela wasn’t locked up such was it like stepping back into the 1980s.

We love a visit to Elland Road. It’s one of those old school grounds that when full is absolutely rocking, 33,000 belting out Marching on Together before the game was fantastic and makes you wish that The Amex was able to do the same with Sussex by the Sea and, as always seems to be the case when we visit, it was an entertaining game with plenty of attacking intent decided by a last minute goal.

Unfortunately, this time it wasn’t the Albion support celebrating a late late winner – although it so nearly could have been were it not for the brilliance of Paddy Kenny. Did that effect the scenes and abuse that were being dished out after the game? Possibly.

Most level headed people accept the fact that songs such as “We can see you holding hands” is banter. It’s no different to going to Cardiff and Swansea and questioning their relationship with sheep in our eyes. But there is a line when banter isn’t banter and a small minority of Leeds fans didn’t so much cross it as jump 100 feet over it.

Every club has it’s idiots – the scenes outside the White Hart pub prior to the game from some of our supporters doing their best Danny Dyer impressions in a recreation of something out of Football Factory is evidence of that – but it’s probably fair to say that on Saturday Leeds had far more than most.

After the game when queuing for taxis back into the city centre, there were large groups of fans screaming gay abuse with the terms AIDS and faggots being banded about, getting in peoples faces while grabbing their testicles and shouting obscene personal abuse. Around the station it was just as bad with people going out of their way to come up to Brighton fans and dish out some more discrimination – one particular favourite being “f**king gay see you next Tuesday”. And then, just to top things off, the train home saw a United fan decide to punch an Albion fan in the face and start banging on the window in front of two young girls – who weren’t lesbians. All in front of a very very embarrassed Leeds chairman and his son, no less.

So that is all banter is it? Not for us it isn’t and surely not for any right minded person. If gestures about bumming, genuine prejudice towards homosexuals, screaming and threatening people and abuse about AIDS count as banter, then would it be banter for an opposition fan to go to Elland Road and launch a banana at El Hadji Diuof? Perhaps we should rewrite Nazi history and say the Night of Broken Glass was just a bit of a laugh while we are at it?

It’s no wonder that Robbie Rogers felt he had to retire after announcing he was gay (ironically after leaving Leeds) and we all know there is absolutely sod all the FA will do about it. We like football banter as much as the next fans, but Saturday went well beyond what could be considered acceptable.

A shame really as it did tar what was otherwise a fantastic weekend away. The biggest irony of all of course being that all these Brighton fans who were getting abused for being gay had left the city on Pride weekend, while Leeds held it’s own Pride parade on Sunday – we’re sure some of the prejudiced locals would have loved that!

We received a lot of Tweets from Leeds fans over the weekend with some very charming comments – and here are some of the best. Remember, it’s just banter.

 

 

 

Homophobia in football – not a problem is it?

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9 Responses to “Leeds – the most homophobic fans in England?”

  1. I think you mean Robbie Rogers, not Brady. And he did receive widespread support from Leeds United fans, in fairness.

    I don't think it's homophobia so much as an easy stereotype fans can use to attack the opposition with. Playing on the perceived wisdom of homosexuals being somehow less of a man than a heterosexual is an easy way to poke fun at opponents in a very laddish environment.

    That said, our support does have some truly world class knobheads unfortunately. That's true of most clubs, of course, but these last few years has seen the rise of Chavvy little youths who've seen one too many football hooliganism film and think they can bring back the 80s. Like Aaron Cawley for example, the clown who thought it was funny to attack Wednesday's goalkeeper. It's embarrassing in this day and age.

  2. I'm assuming you meant Robbie Rogers? Who is playing again, by the way, for LA Galaxy.

    You are correct though, we do have some embarrassing fans, and we can only apologise for the actions of those that drag our club through the mud again and again. Some fans (and this goes for every club in the country) need to realise that "intimidation" has nothing to do with screaming abuse and physically assaulting people, but simply creating an atmosphere that makes it harder for the opposition team to feel comfortable playing their game. One that doesn't need to be based on tired-out, pointlessly offensive stereotypes.

    Enough of the homophobic chants, enough of the Turkey/Galatasaray stuff, let's just watch some football.

  3. Think the title is shocking. Plus a few spelling mistakes and it was Robbie Rogers not Brady. But overall the article is ok, think Leeds is a very intimidating place to go for any fan, lots of reputation there, but i personally can't say i heard any homophobic comments/songs, but i don't doubt that a minority would have. Just like most teams, we all have idiots who know nothing.

  4. as you may notice they are all big and clever behind a computer screen and when they are 100+ strong, im sure it would be a different story as we all know if they were on there own face to face! very very brave boys!!!!!

  5. That last minute goal really hurt didnt it…..

  6. I am a Leeds United fan who watched a thoroughly entertaining game with my 11 year old son, on the way out we saw some Brighton fans and stopped them to almost apologise for nicking the win but praising the football Brighton played, we wished them all the best and shook hands with fellow football supporters

    I am glad you have stated it was a minority of Leeds fans, as this is true and I travel home and away with thousands of Leeds fans and there is little to no trouble whereever we go

    I live in Preston and went to the Carling Cup game tonight, a bloke 3 seats away from me called Tom Ince a f*cking bl*ck c*nt – I turned to him and said "is there any need for that?", he called me a fat b*stard. At the end of the game hundreds piled on to the pitch shouting obscenities at the Blackpool fans, those we were with were embarrassed

    Its a problem all over and self policing, stewards, banning orders and fans sticking up for rival fans will help – please don't tar the good name of Leeds United for the mindless few who embarrass me

    Good luck for the rest of the season I am positive Brighton will be right up there come the business end

    John

  7. I'm a Leeds Fan and I am completely fed up with this "minority". I have attended lots of games at Elland Road with my family over the years and have felt more than embarrassed by what some people think is acceptable to chant at away fans. They would not get away with it if the majority of Leeds fans stood up to them. The irony is that Leeds has one of the liveliest and trouble free Gay quarters in the North of England.
    This "minority" crawl out of their scum hole front door after drinking 10 cans of special brew and smoking 2 joints of weed, not before giving the girlfriend and kids a slap though, they go into a pub on the way to Elland Road but decide they don't have enough benefit money left for a pint so they go to the Off License instead shouting abuse and swearing all the way regardless of whether there are any families about.
    They are a plague not just to Football but to society in general, Football just enables them all to gather in the same place at the same time – a scum concentrate if you like.
    I don't think this is unique to Leeds though, Leeds just happens to have a large population so there are more of them here.
    Leeds is a fantastic City to visit and it is really disappointing that you have spent a lot of time and money getting up here to have your weekend ruined by these (I don't like quoting Ken Bates but maybe he had a point) Morons.

    Please don't just blame the morons though, everyone that accepted this behavior is equally guilty.

    We need a policy of non-tolerance to any behavior of this sort, it worked incredibly well for racism so it should work for homophobia and sexism. perhaps an extension of the "Kick it out" campaign will work.

  8. Fanatics never sleep before a big match like the one on Sat'dee against Hove.
    A lack of sleep and excess alcholic beverage can be blamed for our fans becoming anti-woofter, sadly.
    Apologies from the Chief Fanatic.
    WFKTS

  9. Yawn. Who wants sanitised football stadia? Take away the enmity and the game loses something awesome.

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