Retire the chant
Like all Spurs fans, we’re looking forward to a cup semi-final under the lights. However, unlike all other Spurs fans, we’re also approaching the game with an impending fear of dread at the prospect of hearing the homophobic ‘Chelsea Rent Boy’ chant.
Let’s not kid ourselves that the ‘rent boy’ chant is somehow not homophobic. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be sung, and as with antisemitic and racist chants and noises – they’re sung precisely to be insulting and hateful. And when the affected community tells you it’s homophobic and explains the impact, please hear us (see Lee’s story below). It’s also exposing a new generation of young fans to words and terms that provoke questions they shouldn’t have to ask.
The chant has been heard at many grounds this season and whilst we are certain that most fans don’t sing this with any intent to make LGBTQ+ fans, feel uncomfortable, ostracised, or demeaned, the impact it has on us shouldn’t be underestimated as the term has been used over many years to victimise young gay men; it’s distressing to hear it chanted when Chelsea play. We hope we won’t hear it tonight.
We’re Spurs and should be better.
We know from our work with our great Club that they are completely supportive of the Proud Lilywhites and our global LGBTQ+ fan base. They are committed to ensuring our stadium is a safe and inclusive environment for all fans and won’t tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviour. We’re proud to be part of a club that fights all forms of discrimination – on and off the pitch, and the support we get from many fellow fans echoes this.
It’s time to retire the chant.
We all love this game and we want to win matches and trophies, but we want to do it with style. Homophobic language, when unchallenged, can have real-life consequences: together, we have to be the change we want to see. Making change, fan by fan if necessary, is why we’re here and we won’t rest until we’ve done it.
Discrimination and abuse have no place in our game. Should you hear or experience anything you consider to be unacceptable, or that goes against the Spurs Respects ethos you can report it to the Club via the text service on 07537 404821, please include your location (Block/Row/Seat) and the location of the offence (Block/Row/Seat) and include HPH for homophobic chanting. You can also use the Kick it Out app and we would also appreciate it if you could contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can continue to work with the Club to eradicate homophobia in our amazing home.
We all want the team to do well and support them, all together, as Spurs fans. COYS!
The Proud Lilywhites, January 2022