The Justin Campaign is encouraged by the news that two fans were arrested for homophobic chanting during Southampton’s game against Brighton & Hove Albion at St Mary’s on Saturday.
We would like to thank both Southampton FC and Hampshire Police for reacting in such a decisive way to the homophobia, as it shows a willingness to act on the issue rather than simply give it tacit support.
Homophobic chanting by opposition fans during Brighton & Hove Albion games has, for far too long, been an acceptable part of the Seagulls’ matches, with action rarely taken by the authorities. However, in making these two arrests at St. Mary’s, Hampshire Police have shown that it is not acceptable to hurl abuse at a minority who have, for far too long, been excluded from the game we all love. Homophobic chanting is not ‘harmless banter’, it is offensive and damaging behaviour which has no place in a football stadium.
There is now a growing momentum behind the fight against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in football, and the actions of Hampshire Police and Southampton FC have helped the game take another big step towards true equality in football.