Football v Homophobia

Homophobic chants and FvH Awards chat with Jake Williamson, Jim Dolan and FC Bellevue's 'Sheep'

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Episode notes

At Chelsea's first three games of 2023 - and in the Manchester United vs Everton tie in the FA Cup - some fans have been heard singing a chant that's depressingly familiar - "Chelsea rent boys".

The Football v Homophobia campaign is determined to help dismantle this discriminatory chant. Helping host Jon Holmes of Sports Media LGBT+ to kick it into touch on this episode of the podcast are:

  • Jake Williamson, who has previously shared his experiences of being a Chelsea fan, wanting to be a professional footballer, and coming out as gay
  • Jim Dolan, the founder and former co-chair of West Ham’s LGBTQ+ and allies fan group, Pride of Irons
  • and Delwyn ‘Sheep’ Derrick, the founder of FC Bellevue in Wrexham whose outstanding allyship in Welsh football has been widely recognised

Jake, Jim and Sheep discuss how this chant and other instances of homophobic language have affected them and their friends in football down the years, and offer their thoughts on how to tackle the problem. There's advice for the authorities and for fans - whether LGBTQ+ or allies - who want to play their part in making the atmosphere at our stadiums more inclusive.

The first section of this episode does contain some homophobic words and phrases used in context as examples of discriminatory language. 

Additional notes - Episode 20 of the FvH Podcast from August 2021 with Tracy Brown (Chelsea Pride) and Paul Amann (Kop Outs!); 'What is the 'Chelsea rent boy’ chant and why is it homophobic?' by Will Stroude for PinkNews (Jan 2023); and 'Chelsea rent boys' chant has no place in modern football - homophobia must be treated like racism' by Emma Smith for (Feb 2022)

We need YOU! The nominations window for the fourth annual FvH Awards is open until 20 January 2023, with 11 categories in which to show your appreciation for the clubs, fan groups, county FAs and 'heroes' helping to make the game more LGBTQ+ friendly.

Jake, Jim and 'Sheep' discuss why it's so important to recognise and celebrate our communities - including, of course, our allies - and they select some of their own personal standouts from 2022. Don't forget to nominate! Awards Night will be at the National Football Museum in Manchester on February 24, 2023.

February is also the Month of Action! Get involved!

Thanks for listening - please subscribe, rate, review and share on socials. We're at @FvHtweets on Twitter; @football_v_homophobia on Instagram; and you can like us on Facebook too.

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