Survey of LGBT football fans finds majority experience homophobia and transphobia
Football v Homophobia and Pride in Football release results of survey of 170 supporters who are LGBT+
Last Updated: 07/12/18 7:57am
A new survey of football fans who are LGBT+ has found over 63 per cent experienced incidents of anti-LGBT language or behaviour last season.
The 'LGBT+ End of Season Survey' was an initiative commissioned by the Football v Homophobia campaign and the alliance of LGBT+ supporters groups, Pride in Football. The research was conducted by Dr John E. Goldring, a Senior Lecturer in Sociology Statistics and Quantitative Methodology at Manchester Metropolitan University.
The survey explores the experience of LGBT+ football fans throughout the 2017/18 season, with 170 supporters taking part, all of whom had attended live matches during the course of the campaign.
The survey found that 63 per cent of respondents experienced incidents of physical and verbal abuse, homophobic or transphobic chanting, and/or comments from other fans.
Furthermore, the survey discovered that LGBT+ fans experienced some reticence in reporting such incidents. 65 per cent of fans at home games and 72 per cent of fans at away games had not reported homophobic and transphobic chanting.
Lou Englefield, Football v Homophobia's campaign director, said: "LGBT+ football fans pay the same amount to support their team as everyone else and yet too many of them are experiencing or witnessing abuse on a matchday.
"There is still work to be done to educate fans on the impact of their language. We need support for this work."
Kick It Out's reporting figures for 2017/18, released last week, showed a nine per cent increase in reports of homophobia from the previous year.
The 'End of Season Survey' also highlighted the positive impact of LGBT+ supporters groups in growing the confidence of some LGBT+ fans to attend live matches, with 51 per cent saying that being part of an LGBT+ fan group grew their confidence to attend home games and 44 per cent saying it improved their confidence to attend matches away from home.
Chris Paouros, the co-chair of Pride in Football, said: "We can't underestimate the power of LGBT+ fan groups.
"Football is about belonging and for too long, LGBT+ fans haven't felt part of the football family. Even if you're not part of your club's fan group, knowing it's there and that your club actively welcomes you makes a huge difference."
End of Season Survey reveals 63% experienced homophobic & transphobic comments, chanting, physical & verbal abuse from other fans &shows LGBT+ fan groups can give confidence to attend matches. With @prideinfootball we call for more action #strongertogether https://t.co/D3Xheri9Wa pic.twitter.com/BDNlM09sFq— FootballvHomophobia (@FvHtweets) December 5, 2018
The 'End of Season Survey' report also calls for clubs, leagues and football authorities to initiate or increase their support for Pride in Football and the establishment of LGBT+ fan groups, which provide many fans with the confidence to attend games.
The report comes a week after research from the LGBT charity Stonewall for their Rainbow Laces campaign highlighted a lack of confidence more generally in the UK to challenge anti-LGBT language at live sporting events, with only 25 per cent of those surveyed feeling able to intervene.