It’s the start of the season, the sun is shining and things are looking good; let’s not tarnish it with homophobic chanting on Sunday.
And yes, the ‘rent boy’ chant is homophobic—if it wasn’t, nobody would bother. It’s busted out 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). 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 gained prevalence the last couple of seasons and while we imagine that most fans don’t sing this with intent to make LGBTQ+ fans feel uncomfortable, ostracised or demeaned, the impact it has on us shouldn’t be underestimated. 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 don’t hear it on Sunday.
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 that following our team is safe and inclusive 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 via the text service – to 88777 or 07894 937793 with Stand, Block, Row and Seat details, as well as the offender and the incident. After the match incidents can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. 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 all its forms..
We all want the team to do well, all together, as Spurs fans. COYS!
The Proud Lilywhites, August 2022