New documentary addresses homophobia in football

In a new online documentary, Channel 4 explores a roadmap to address homophobia in football and help LGBTQ+ footballers to come out.

Photograph of a man wearing a white and black football jersey and a white face mask, running passed a soccer goal waving a Pride flag.
Image: @ajplus

Football’s Coming Out, a brand-new documentary asks why homophobia is still rife in football and how one of the world’s most popular sports can combat this.

The documentary plays host to an array of high profile faces from the field of football including former Premier League manager, Ian Holloway, Leeds United striker, Patrick Bamford, and Britain’s highest-ranked openly gay footballer, Matt Morton.

The programme also aims to act as a road map, to help LGBTQ+ players to come out in future. Through discussions with contributors, it investigates the challenges that Premier League football players currently experience if they do choose to come out publicly. By exploring ways that fellow players, fans, press, social media and financial donors might react to the news, the film asks what needs to change.

One of the people interviewed for the documentary is Amal Fashanu, niece of Justin Fashanu and founder of The Justin Fashanu Foundation. Justin played football between 1978 and 1997 and became the first Premiership player to come out publically in 1990. Football’s Coming Out will feature his story as a historical case study, including archive footage, to interrogate how mistakes were made.

Highlighting the lack of visibility in the sport, in his interview for the documentary Matt Morton states, “If you said you had somebody say they don’t believe somebody is gay at elite level, I’d love a conversation because I’d think they were insane. There are 100 per cent gay men in elite football in this country, without a shadow of a doubt. They just don’t feel comfortable yet to be themselves.”

Currently, Australian football player Josh Cavallo is the only openly gay professional player in the sport after he came out last October. Since then he has become a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ players in football, regularly speaking out about homophobia.

The programme is available to watch on All 4 from today.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.