Football is still an unwelcoming place but progress can be made against homophobia

In an exclusive interview, Hotshots FC talks to editor, of Scotzine, Andy Muirhead . Scotland’s first Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender football team has claimed that football is still an unwelcoming environment for LGBT players and supporters, but with the help of football governing bodies progress can be made against homophobia.

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Andy Muirhead : You are Scotland’s very first LGBT football team – why was the team established? Are you specifically LGBT or do you welcome heterosexual players to your ranks?

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Hotshots FC  : “We don’t think that too many would disagree that football has been and continues to be perceived sometimes as a pretty unwelcoming environment for LGBT players and supporters. It’s all been documented before, for example in Stonewall’s “Leagues Behind” report, the Equality Network’s “Out for Sport” study or, very recently, the GFSN report on the abuse directed at Brighton supporters by opposition fans.

“Whether it’s having to listen to homophobic abuse being shouted in our football stadiums, or direct abuse on the park or at training football still has a fair way to go before it will be known as a sport welcomes players and supporters regardless of their sexuality.

“The simple fact is that footballers do not generally ‘come out’ – that says it all about what sort of reaction they expect.

“That’s not to say the problem is endemic or can never be solved. Far from it – if the football authorities are able to take action, a lot of progress could probably be made with minimal effort. And thankfully, it looks like the Scottish FA is now interested in getting involved.

“It’s that image that has led to clubs like Hotshots FC being set up. The club provides a welcoming place for people who want to play football and where no one will give a damn about their sexuality.

“We welcome all players, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality. It would be unusual for one of our match day squads not to have a couple of ‘straight’ players included. Often they get involved with the club because a family member, friend or work colleague plays for the team already.

Read more (whole interview) : www.scotzine.com

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