Green StreetResponding to an article condemning Leeds United fans for being the most homophobic in football, I’m acutely aware of my own personal bias. I’m a Leeds United fan, obviously, I have a season ticket in the Kop, travel to the vast majority of away games and, most importantly of all, am part of the group the person who wrote the article is condemning – the Leeds United fans that is, not the homophobic.

The fact is, it’s impossible to address this issue without my own personal bias playing a part. These are my people after all, anyone who’s done an introduction to psychology course knows how easily an ‘us and them’ bias effects our reasoning. There’s every possibility that I’ll exaggerate our good points while down-playing the bad, but unlike some Leeds United fans, I do recognise we have a problem.

In fairness, We Are Brighton did have the decency to write that it’s only a minority of our fans responsible for this problem, while also adding balance by pointing to their own fanbases misbehaviour on Saturday.

But I take a slightly different view from the people at We Are Brighton. While I find no reason to question the accuracy of the article (I’ve seen this kind of behaviour far too many times to doubt it) I disagree on two points;

  1. Firstly, Leeds United’s minority are no worse than the minority of trouble-causing idiots at any other club. The difference, I believe, is that a Leeds United minority usually outnumbers a Huddersfield Town or a Cardiff City (for example) minority tenfold. Not because there’s a larger percentage of our fanbase prone to such idiotic behaviour, but because our home and away crowds are usually much larger.
  2. Secondly, I disagree that the minority are the problem.

An unsavoury element exists at every football club up and down the country, few people would dispute that. And yes, the people causing trouble are outnumbered by genuine fans who just want to watch the game and enjoy the atmosphere by hundreds, maybe even thousands, to one.

The majority go about their business without issue, trying their hardest to ignore the minority of idiots and pretend they don’t exist. When confronted by the issue, the majority who don’t partake in the senseless thuggery, casual racism, homophobia, sexism and violence that has scarred our game for decades will simply shrug and dismiss the problem. “It’s only a minority” we reason, as if that somehow makes it more acceptable.

It’s not acceptable however when the boot is on the other foot. When Millwall and Manchester United fans are mocking the deaths of Leeds United fans, we’re suddenly outraged. No one is casually dismissing it as a minority problem any more, all of a sudden, it’s unacceptable and we demand justice. Quite rightly too.

But if we can’t deal with our own minority, what are we proposing Millwall and Manchester United do about their fans? How do Brighton deal with the idiots who attacked Leeds United fans outside the Old White Hart on Saturday?

Banning orders and a higher Police presence work to an extent, but they’ve only reduced the problem, they never rid us of it completely. It can also make for a less-than-pleasant experience at many grounds, as I’m sure most Leeds United fans who’ve travelled away will testify. Perhaps that partly explains why we’re so accepting of the problem? Because the solution didn’t work and the inconvenience it caused the rest of us can be a real nuisance.

Since we don’t have any other answers, we choose instead to ignore the problem or play down the severity of it.

That’s the real problem. Not the minority of brain-dead Chavs who thought Green Street was a documentary and have been waiting to take on Elijah Wood’s crew ever since, but the rest of us who accept this kind of behaviour as an unavoidable consequence of large crowd gatherings.

I responded to We Are Brighton‘s article on Twitter earlier today and was immediately inundated with three types of reply – those who agreed we have a problem, people living in total denial dismissing the article as a work of fiction and the biggest group of all, the casually carefree “it’s only a minority of fans.”

The problems of the 1980s didn’t start because people, en masse, spontaneously decided to start punching each other. Such problems always start as a minority, escalating to a point where it gets so out-of-hand, it becomes impossible to ignore. It might take a random punch in the face while you’re simply trying to enjoy the football with your family, but that’s the direction we’re heading in if we continue to pretend such problems don’t exist.

These problems always start the same way and whether you like it or not, the authorities are largely powerless to stop them. It’s a gradual progression from “don’t worry, it’s only a minority” to organised gangs that kids want to join because they think it’s cool.

If people just wanted to fight, they could save themselves the expense of travelling the country and do so on their own doorstep. The twisted logic hooligans apply to their behaviour isn’t based on a desire to fight, they genuinely believe that they’re representing Leeds United – that their actions serve to bolster our reputation as a name to be feared.

That we’re feared for the thuggish behaviour of our fans instead of the quality of our team is irrelevant to these people. Very few of us want to be labelled as homophobic thugs, but when no one questions the actions of those responsible, how else are outsiders supposed to view it? We’re one group to them. We’re Leeds United fans. That it was only a minority makes no difference at all, we’re still associated with these people. Worse still, many are refusing to condemn the actions of a minority.

It was only a minority of Millwall fans wearing Galatasaray shirts, only a minority of Manchester United fans who brought the banner to Elland Road. The majority are just like you and me – does that make you feel any better about those clubs though?

By failing to condemn such actions and actively dismissing the problem as a natural by-product of football, Brighton’s fans feel justifiably aggrieved (like we did v Manchester United and Millwall) and the hooligans take that as positive-reinforcement. Why shouldn’t they? They’re not being condemned by the rest of us, if anything, we’re defending them as part of a larger group.

How many times have you heard opposition fans complain about the behaviour of our fans, only for our fans to retort with an example of their own fans misbehaviour? You’ve probably done it yourself without even realising, I know I have. I did it when Manchester United brought that banner, as if it somehow justified the runway chants from the Kop.

I refuse to accept that there’s a problem with homophobia at Elland Road, the overwhelmingly positive response Robbie Rogers received from Leeds United fans after he revealed his sexuality suggests we’re far more accepting than We Are Brighton gives us credit for. To me, the homophobic insults are just a lazy stereotype used to get a reaction from opposition fans.

But while there isn’t a problem with homophobia in Leeds (no more so than anywhere else at least), we do have a thuggish element that we’ve ignored, played-down and sometimes even condoned for far too long. While this may exist at every football club in the country, an acceptance of it doesn’t have to.

When a crowd or an individual yells unacceptable remarks towards another team or fan, they’re seeking approval from the rest of the group. Deprive them of that and the problem goes away. No one wants to be the last man shouting homophobic abuse at the opposition while the rest of the stadium fixes them with a look of contempt. That’s how we overcame racism in football and it’s the same way we’ll overcome homophobia, senseless violence and general thuggery. We’ll simply stop accepting it.

  • Weatherman

    While not on the same level as homophobia are the Leeds idiots any worse than the Brighton ones who started filling Twitter with “northern dole scum” comments in the run up to the game.

    To complain about the homophobic abuse, which they will get at the majority of games not just ones against Leeds, when their own minority hurl the same sort of (ill informed) regional stereotypes themselves is hypocritical.

    It all needs to be stamped out but, unless there is a complete change of attitude in the whole human race, that’s not going to happen in my lifetime.

  • KenKaniffOnTheInternet

    Interesting article.

    However, I feel that anything and I mean anything is fair game being said in a football ground.

    There is a big difference between trying to gain a psychological advantage before and during the game by making the atmosphere intimidating and abusing people in the street face to face. Hurling abuse outside of the confines of the ground and physical assault is altogether a different, unacceptable thing.

    If you want to complain about language inside a football ground, or racism, or homophobic chanting, complain. But I’d rather anyone that took offence at such things stayed at home.

    I don’t for one minute believe that the people doing it exist on a daily basis like a dissident chapter of Combat 18, I believe it is purely done to unsettle and gain an advantage and I am sick and tired of living in a namby pamby world where “words” being said or typed make people sad.

    Unless there is physical violence, or the threat of physical violence, then people just need to get some nuts and ignore the bullshit being spouted, because that’s all it truly is.

    It’s like trolling on twitter, you shouldn’t take it remotely seriously and just fucking ignore it.

    • TSS

      That’s the trouble, this is more what happened outside the ground than in it. All I really remember inside the ground was “we can see you holding hands…” though it’s usually much more than that. Ken Bates’ leaving party the priority I guess.

      • KenKaniffOnTheInternet

        I don’t see the point of carrying on when the game is finished. It’d be like going up to someone in Tescos and screaming in their face.

        It’s daft, especially seen as though we won. Just be content with that.

        Whilst I feel that people need to toughen up, some people really need to grow the fuck up and street bound nonsense won’t do us any favours.

    • ForeverLUFC

      So your saying racism and homophobic chanting are acceptable inside a football ground? So basically you would advise a black man to stay away in case he is seated next to some small minded idiot hurling racial abuse at opposing fans? “Banter” is banter, but homophobia, racism and sick taunts about death have no place in football. Children shouldn’t have to listen to all that, and they shouldn’t have to be kept away as a result. No wonder society is the way it is today.

  • alwaysleeds

    Ask any of the so called homophobic fans, away from the ground, and not surrounded by their peer group, whether they had a problem with gay people and most would probably say no. Its just a wind up, a cheap shot. Just because Brighton as a town is seen as a gay centre its seen as an easy target. Fans will use any ammunition they can to undermine opposition fans confidence in their team.

    • Weatherman

      More apt would be to ask them how many have no gay friends?

      In a cosmopolitan city like Leeds I would bet very few could say they had none.

      Then follow it up with, and what would you think if someone did that to your friend(S)?

  • Tare

    Leeds United and sexual thrives? Sorry to say but a pretty far reached challenge here. Hope this huge revelation gives some input for the believers but ….

    Tare

  • Tim Milner

    It’s banter. Do other clubs supporters actually think that our fans have sex with sheep? I doubt it?!

    • TSS

      I hate the word “banter,” it makes me cringe every time. Was it banter when Millwall fans wore Galatasaray shirts? No one seemed to think so at the time, I was there. Same with ManU and the banner.

      That aside, you need to read the original article. This isn’t so much the chants within the stadium (indeed, WeAreBrighton takes no real issue with those either) but the actions of fans outside the stadium, which I’d argue is often provoked by what goes on inside.

      • Tim Milner

        The Galataserey/Munich thing is a totally different topic. If Leeds were singing songs about a gay man who’d been murdered, then that would be on a par. But the whole ‘sheepshaggers’ & ‘in the Liverpool slums’ stuff is just that horrible word ‘banter’. I’m sorry you hate the word, I hate it too. It’s up there with’closure’ for me, which is something I’m hoping everyone got on Saturday. So now Bates is gone, maybe we could stop singing his name? Or constantly writing about him? It’s a new era, the past’s gone.

        • TSS

          I can handle whatever happens in the ground (with the odd exception). There does have to be a line drawn somewhere though, you wouldn’t accept a group of fans hurling racist abuse nowadays, would you? I think we’d all agree that “banter” doesn’t excuse all acts of crowd behaviour.

          But the real issues are what happened outside the ground, people being individually abused and attacked by Leeds fans, as per We Are Brighton’s post. No one should be subjected to that just because they wanted to go and support their team.

      • KenKaniffOnTheInternet

        There’s a difference between taking something “visual” to a ground with no reason other than to illicit a violent reaction, and saying words.

        I’m sorry, but if you walked into a synagogue or a mosque and threw a chunk of pork in there, you’d be likely to get a kicking, mullered and probably nicked. And rightly so.

        You come to Elland Road with the colours of that murdering fucking scum team, and you want to purely flick the switches of a neanderthal minority tribe, so they kick off and you can claim you’re geniuses for winding them up.

        You turn up with flags and shirts, purely to rile, that goes beyond banter.

        Singing sick songs and abusing people verbally is fine as far as I’m concerned, but only whilst in the ground. Same way we song songs about Savile, purely so Wednesday fans didn’t beat us to it.

  • Brighton

    No football team can claim they don’t go along with the whole stereotyping. As has been said we talk about the Northerners being on the dole and paying their benefits for them. To me that is on the same par as half of the gay tweets that were on twitter. In reality none of those were anything we hadn’t actually heard before. To most of us it’s just getting a little childish and boring, however it’s the supporters club etc. who seem to be most offended. The reality is as well it isn’t all your fans, the majority who I have met down here at the Amex have seemed pleasant enough.

    What sickened me more was the girl who was being indirectly attacked over her picture on twitter by your fans. At current there has been 4 pages of abuse listed. No provocation, no nothing. They just didn’t like the look of her and decided ‘she’s fair game, let’s have a pop at her boyfriend about her looks.

  • Reiver

    I would bother too much about conforming to ‘liberal’ doctrine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion – ‘political correctness’ is the religion of the self-righteous.

    • Joe

      No, political correctness is a – sometimes clumsy but generally positive – attempt at a formally inclusive language. Flinging around pseudo-intellectual phrases like ‘doctrine’ and ‘religion of the self-righteous’ doesn’t make your comment any more meaningful I’m afraid.

      • Roger T Dodger

        Political correctness is never positive.

        It’s a self serving, delusional buzz-term thrown out there to get everyone to conform to the quirks of a vocal minority so that soft arse liberal twats can sleep easy at night, resting assured that all is right with their little world and they’ve somehow whitewashed over the underlying problems just by making a few terms or words a sudden taboo.

        A few ugly women moan about lads mags, before you know it, they are all censored in shops, despite the fact the women posing actually hold the power over the men who are drawn to spend money on the magazine, they are an affront to womens liberation.

        A golfers uses an abbreviated term to describe someone’s country of origin and all of a sudden it’s classed as abhorrent racism and he is vilified for it. Yet people from Britain are regularly called “Brits” and nobody gets sand in their vagina over it.

        Some sick bastards look at kiddie porn and an unelected posh twat wants to block all porn from the internet, instead of tackling the problem and hunting down paedos and cutting off their balls, before locking them up forever and a day.

        It’s all bullshit words, just to prevent the upper middle classes from actually doing something to actually solve the problem and any time these so called “educated experts” wheel out another “politically correct” statement or behavioural standard, I weep inside for the pathetic, braindead nation of fools we have all become.

        • TSS

          Every example you’ve given I agree with. Trouble is, that’s not what Liberalism or political correctness is really about (and the guy blocking porn is as far from Liberal as it gets) – though people’s skewed understanding of it has made it a term associated with such nonsense, unfortunately.

          I don’t just hold the right-wing responsible for that, there are plenty on the left who go to ridiculous extremes for self-serving ends. Every time someone gets offended the “political correctness” term gets muddled in and the actual cause political correctness should be promoting (ie. equality) is further lost beneath a mountain of people whining because they got offended by something. It’s not about being offended, it’s about having the same rights as everyone else.

          That someone is fat/ugly and considered undesirable by people who buy Zoo magazine doesn’t infringe on anyone’s right to equality. It should come down to things like jobs and mortgages and bank loans and schools – should, for example, a person have any less right to go to a certain school because of their appearance? Of course not. That’s what political correctness is supposed to be about, not people moaning because something offended them. That drives me (a liberal) just as mad as everyone else.

          • Roger T Dodger

            I’m all for equality.

            I’m for the equality that everyone has the right to exist a peaceful life, without fear of oppression or violence because of their legal choices.

            More importantly, I’m for the equality that everyone should be able to take a joke, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality.

            The very fact that the word “political” is even in the phrase should make us all recoil from the hideous term.

            What politician ever acted from altruistic reasons and wanted to treat everyone equally? What politician wouldn’t sell his own grandmother to achieve their own sordid, narcissistic goals?

            Use the term equality to stress equality, but I can’t stand the term political correctness, nor what it has been bastardised to stand for.

          • TSS

            I think we’re largely in agreement here. I also tend to shudder when I hear the words “politically correct” these days.

          • henrymouni

            “I’m for the equality that everyone has the right to exist a peaceful life, without fear of oppression or violence because of their legal choices.”

            It will NEVER happen.
            This apparent life is a balance between good & bad : up and down : black and white.
            All this nonsense about a better world is a self deception like World peace.
            There will always be another war :earthquake: plane crash: child molester: Peace worker : Charity worker: evangelist : lying politician : honest politician.
            The World would sink into economic catastrophe if we got rid of wars, sickness & crime.
            It is perfect balance as it is, and all the bull about improving it is complete nonsense.

          • Irving08

            Henry my friend, it may be an illusion, but mankind will forever strive for the fullness of being. More prosaically, culture is about mediating the opposites you so poetically express.

          • henrymouni

            I totally agree Irv.
            We cannot help but try to improve our lot.
            Sadly we plug one hole and another appears.
            We tackle one famine and another appears.
            Cure a disease and another appears to replace it.
            This is the truth but it is very hard to accept.
            If you do accept/see it, you will not die of frustration.
            It is difficult to think of an ‘improvement’, that long term has not had a sting in the tail, sooner or later.
            But:-

            “Man must strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”

        • Joe

          I’m sorry for having a long speech about what ‘political correctness’ means here; after all it’s a football blog, but I’m gonna try and clarify a couple of things here.

          I agree with you on lads mags, hell I think 99% of women realise that it’s a stupid idea. But I don’t get your associating political correctness with the political classes in this country. Yes DC is a scumbag and so are most of our MPs but political correctness isn’t decided by them, not really, it’s something we decide, as a society.

          If you ask any pakistani person how they feel about the word ‘p—‘, whether they think it’s ‘banter’ or not, they’ll say no, it’s fucking offensive. It’s a word that was used by some nasty, bigoted people who used to beat the crap out of them and intimidate them and their families for no reason other than the colour of their skin and the fact they didn’t come from this country. That’s why we need political correctness. All this shite about it being dictated from above is nonsense. It’s dictated by what people can shrug off, and what makes them feel threatened and unwelcome going about their day to day lives.

          Being politically correct doesn’t mean saying or not saying certain things, or pleasing everyone, it just means being a considerate human being. And just because the Sun and the Mail and whoever else tell you it’s something else, like some 1984 attempt to get you to only say the right things, doesn’t make it that.

      • TSS

        Political correctness seems to have taken on the same negative perception that Liberalism has in America, like it’s something people should apologise for. That the two go hand-in-hand is no coincidence.

        I’m not sure why anyone should be apologising for wanting to live in a world where everyone is accepted as equal, with no fear of persecution because of your race, sex or personal lifestyle choices.

        Ironic that the only real doctrine is that of the right-wing media, skewing people’s understanding of a concept most people would consider a basic human right when worded any other way.

        Political correctness isn’t designed to stop comedians playing on stereotype or so companies hire a percentage of each race and sex relative to their percentage of the nation as a whole (though it can be enforced quite stupidly by government at times). It’s something we’ve believed for centuries – that all mankind is created equal, and none of us should be discriminated against because of sex, the colour of our skin or sexuality. How is that a bad thing exactly?

      • RoystonLufc

        No, political correctness is a manifestation of defeat on behalf of a washed-out movement of tired old lefties. “Forget about fighting prejudice and forging unity, let’s just lazily invite the state to do something we’ve failed miserably to achieve” is what the advocates of PC should say; instead they talk about “inclusive language” and other meaningless phrases (think about it:”inclusive language” – utterly meaningless.) PC language is just a figleaf for a creeping, censorious strand which is blighting public spaces throughout the world. It is based on the New Labour notion of victimhood, coupled with the – equally incorrect – idea that those who are not victims are abusers. This black-and-white, elitist view of ordinary people is what underpins PC-dom.

        By the way, before I recieve the usual quota of vitriol, I should point out that I’ve been in more fights defending gay rights than supporting LUFC. And the scars I’ve sustained tell me that there’s a world of difference between fighting for gay rights and the “censor it and hope it goes away” approach. I also fight for free speech with equal vigour and I won’t allow the PC mob to increase state censorship, which is invariably the end result of these dicussions.

  • Bornawhite

    This article does touch a nerve and i am afraid Ken Kaniff’s more than the average fan. Football should not be a refuge to abuse others and hide behind the ‘it’s just banter argument’. I hate taking my kids to football to witness some vitriolic prat using every possible insult aimed at a group of people well out of earshot. Whilst it is argued he is the minority, he isnt – there are no shortage of prats at Elland Road and any other ground around the country. Banter does not require insult, just a modicum of wit.

    This so called banter has spread to kids football. No shortage of Parents on the touchline shouting at the referee these days and using a variety of insults whilst doing so. Wish my kids could just f..king ignore it !!

  • PH-LS11

    Violence and thuggery have no place in our game whatsoever. The recent pictures of the damage caused by our ‘fans’ in the bar at Walsall made me cringe with embarrassment. I really wish these idiots would stay well away from any of our games. On the other hand, verbal exchanges by opposing sets of fans have never really done any harm within the game. It is part and parcel of it and long may it continue from an atmospheric point of view. Leeds united will always be at the front of the queue when bad press awards are being handed out. Mud sticks and due to us having a good few brain deads within our ranks we have had plenty of that mud flung at us.

  • Brendan Blackett

    We all seem to forget football is only a game..nothing wrong with chanting as you say to gain an advantage for your team as long as is stays within the confines of the ground. Everybody, myself included will join in with the mickey taking on twitter, as long as it stays within its boundaries of football one upmanship and not become apersonal attack on the individual

  • AndyD

    Good article.

    The trouble I have is in putting a figure to the minority. A minority, when taken in context of a 30+ thousand crowd is still quite high. How many of our ‘supporters’ continue to harangue Dave Jones when we are live on TV? I’ll betting it isn’t ‘such’ a minority that makes us look so foul. We even find it acceptable to tell our players we like them but their parents are c*nts. I’m not even sure Noel Hunt really ‘appreciates’ the chant created for him. It’s not amusing, yet there are way too many who think it so.

    Unfortunately the it’s the nature of the LUFC beast, in some ways it’s what makes us so formidable. A HTFC mate of mine summed it up perfectly when he said, ‘I’ll give your lot one thing, you don’t half know how to create an intimidating atmosphere’.

    Perhaps the location of our ground dictates our ‘hardcore support’ was likely brought up on the kind of foul behaviour used as a stick to constantly beat us with. Like it or not, the truth is, I wander around ER on match day, with my seven year old, in constant need of filtering the bad mouths and brain-dead. Sad to say, there are many I’d rather be supporting the other team and most who probably frequent WACCOE – if you’re looking to rid us of the bigots, that website would be a good place to start.

    It HAS changed alot since I started going in the late 80s, god knows what it was like before then. It hasn’t changed nearly enough. I don’t think it ever will. And, as this article points out, we are not alone with the issues it’s just that the soapboxers and keyboard warriors get more bang for their buck where we are concerned.

    • HeadLikeRockyDennis

      This is the problem – people like you, bandying about the word “bigot”. Let’s get it straight, you are saying that people should not behave in a certain way , or have certain principles or ways of behaving. Is that not “bigoted”? I detest that word, it’s completely misused and is wheeled out by true bigots who want the world to conform to their way of thinking.

      On the subject of Dave Jones, don’t put supporters in inverted commas, just because they abuse him. Again, it’s banter. If he can’t stand the heat, he can get his arse out of the kitchen. People have paid money to go to the game, they are supporting the team, both financially and physically, so don’t disrespect them just because they have a different level of what’s acceptable to you.

      As for your seven your old son, do what I do, tell him it’s your job as a parent to make sure he knows right from wrong and that he shouldn’t repeat things until he is old enough to know what they mean and when he can use them.

      Lest we forget you actually put him into that environment by taking him to a football match, do you think everyone else should tiptoe round their language just because you’ve decided to bring your kid to a football match?

      • AndyD

        Thank you for proving my point, the point of the original post and the sterotype.

        Bigot is absolutely the right word, check the dictionary, then lend it to your child – if you’re hoping he/she will ever be old enough to know what it means, as it appears you don’t.

        There IS one word, in your prose, that is absolutely mis-used and that word is ‘banter'; a misnomer if there ever was one. If you believe abusing Dave Jones is banter then there truly is no hope for you or us, the civilised majority, in ridding ourselves of the caveman behaviour – there is nothing ‘good-humored or teasing’ in the way he is abused. He might be a twot, especially the way he comes across on TV in regard to football, but you’ve heard of something called the justice system, right? Next you’ll be telling me he shouldn’t have put himself in the environment that is his place of work.

        • Matthew

          You’re getting quite emotional over the Dave Jones stuff, sure you’re not a Wendys fan in disguise bro?
          Seriously, you’re getting bent out of shape over a bit of banter. Jesus Christ.

          • Irving08

            Mathew, don’t let yourself down. Insulting someone is not banter; when done collectively it is just plain bullying.

          • Matthew

            It’s Dave Jones for fucks sake. Who honestly gives a shit about him? It’s all a bit of fun by fans of various football clubs and nothing more. If it was someone who didn’t deserve the shit I would say so but come on. It’s Dave Jones lol

    • Irving08

      Actually it is worse in some respects now. In the 1970s it tended to be just violent, even in the 1980s I don’t recall the amount of foul-mouthed comments that are routinely heard at Elland Road nowadays, even in the Family Stand. Let’s face it, Elland Road is not a place for a repectable family man and his children (or in my case grandchidren). And of course a significant number of those attending are homophobic, just as the Western terrace at Headingly likes nothing better than a bit of paki-bashing when England are playing Pakistan at cricket. All in all we are a pretty badly behaved nation in public.

  • KBEES

    I am often found talking to the F’s in the JC WC @ ER or Windmilling or Fisting.
    GB’sKTS

  • Matthew

    Probably worth noting that rants from bitter, self entitled, deluded Brighton fans aren’t worth anything, they cry enough tears to flood the world twice over whenever they lose, and think the other team is to blame, or point the finger at the fans of said team. They obviously think just because they can somewhat fill their new ground that they deserve a place in the Premier League, well some of them. My god do they have an irritating fanbase.

    • Matthew

      Looks like I upset a Brighton fan lol. Pity it didn’t have the courage to respond.

  • stef

    Brilliant writing mate….and too too true! Stef

  • Coco the clown

    Was in the KOP Saturday n have been many times…. It was just banter, In work In Life we try wind each other other up It’s just a laugh wouldn’t the world be a better place If we all just took the p** outta each other and stopped being so serious.

  • spellz

    This debate has been hilarious, cheer up everyone I am sure Brighton get that treatment wherever they go unfortunately, apologies on behalf of the minority of our dickheads.

    • TSS

      I’m sure the chants follow them around a fair bit, but I’d hope the harassment and attacks on individual fans in the street is far less common.

      I’d also hope we can move beyond an era where homophobic chanting is considered fair game to be honest with you, just like we moved beyond an era of monkey chants. Not that I think “we can see you holding hands” or “does your boyfriend know you’re here?” is sang with any real malice. I doubt there’s any homosexuals who’d find that threatening to be honest with you. But yelling “fucking faggot” at random people in the street is a different thing entirely and I can’t help think it all starts with those chants.

      • Matthew

        I’m frankly amazed that some people are defending Dave Jones on here. I couldn’t personally give two shits about the man, and the fact people are doing their duty informing him what he is at games, is highly amusing to me.

        I personally think what happens in the ground in that regard should stay in the ground. As long as fans aren’t getting in peoples faces after games insulting them for no real reason, let them get on with it. As long as its within reason of course.

      • spellz

        I understand your point but this world is full of inhumane humans at the end of the day, I would love to live in a perfect world but unfortunately the reality is people will be immoral and there is the majority of us that are moral and it will remain that way forever.

        I do not believe people should be attacked in the street at random neither but do you honestly believe this is a problem that can be solved?
        I honestly think every club has its minority of their own thug fans at the club that live by the rules of a 14 year old bully in a playground, I really do not think we should be singled out as a club it is just ridiculous.

  • angsta

    Is this a who has the most morons count? Quite a few at LUFC if we are being honest… more than Cardiff or Millwall? Six of one and half a dozen of the other IMHO.

    • Matthew

      Look at Preston after beating Blackpool yesterday, think some of their fans have most teams beat in the moron area for what they did. However on another matter I’m happy for Grayson, and I hope he gets a draw against as after we promptly send Chesterfield packing on Wednesday, I would love to see Grayson get the home coming he deserves as he was a great manager, not perfect but someone worth respecting.
      I’m sure if we get Preston after beating Chesterfield, even after we beat Preston even, Grayson will be humble and show the fans the same love most will show him :)

  • Chareose

    What gets me is that a lot of fans dont seem to understand the damage their actions do to the club………For example that idiot who ran onto the pitch at sheffeild wednesday and attacked the goal keeper, if he had got back into the seating near me hed have known about it…… Why you ask ? Because he is damaging the club i love, to me hes an absolute cretin if not worse because id see it as a betrayal as he is calling himself a fan……….i cant explain the anger i feel at something like that. To a lesser degree its there when i hear leeds fans sing disgusting songs……….they are bringing the club i love into disrepute…the club i worship!!!!
    We as fans need to police this, turn our backs on the perpetrators, dont just accept it with a stupid “haha its just banter” fxxxxxx ignorant pillocks……..should the word “hypocritical” be inserted in there because same said fans im sure were up in arms when the turkish fans were abusing us !!

    Sorry but very little on this earth makes my blood boil more than this and the sooner the rest of the fans join me the better it will be for our club, people need to be pushed and cojoled into doing the right things, we are SHEEP….I.E we wouldnt have gone to war with Germany without Winston Churchil……SHEEP need to be lead !

    • Chareose

      and thanks after reading this and some of the comments on here i have now gone to work with high blood pressure….

      • henrymouni

        Try a relaxing mantra like:-

        “Ken’s gone, Ken’s gone ……….

        Feel better now?

  • Tim

    I was at the game on Saturday, travelled up with a mate that support Brighton.
    I also lived in Brighton myself for 10 years, one of those years with the director of this years Brightin Pride and her partner.
    I consider myself staunchlyanti-homophobic but I still make gay jokes, especially towards my gay friends. They take it in the good humour it’s intended.

    I don’t think anyone really seriously considers Brighton fans as gay, it’s just an easy topic to go to for banter because of the history and reputation of the city

    • Hatfield

      You are not “staunchly anti-homophobic” if you make gay jokes. Homophobic chanting is not “banter” in the same way that racist chanting isn’t “banter”.

  • BDB Leeds

    There are very many normally sound thinking individuals who on occasion (mostly at football matches), allow their rationale to leave the rails from time to time. No one actually believes all the folk of Brighton are “gay” nor the folk of Liverpool all “thieves”. If we are to be so idiosyncratic and look totally inwardly do we think all opposition goalies are “sh!t b@st@rds”? And do we really think “we are the greatest team in football”? A couple of German and Spanish teams may have solid grounds to dispute that claim which must make everyone who sings it an idiot? Tosh!
    A homophobic (insert racist,sexist etc for similar affect) is someone who genuinely hates people of a certain persuasion, they wish ill feeling on them and find their existence an offensive blight on society.
    The normally sound guy singing ” I can see you holding hands” – a homophobic? He more than likely left the ground to meet up for a meal, drink, work etc with a gay/black/female etc friend who because they know him wouldn’t be offended in the least by his previous actions.
    I don’t know the ratio of gay to straight in the Brighton crowd, but I reckon the gays amongst it will have had to unfortunately deal with genuine “homophobia” the straight fellows amongst them that find this kind of “banter” ( I’ve used the word due to it being the mainstay of other posts), offensive – then why do you find it offensive? Maybe we are looking in the wrong place here? If someone calls you gay and you are not surely then that’s not a problem? I think some Brighton fans ought to look a little inwardly before condemning entire cities to the mantle of foolish louts

    • NEULUFC!

      With respect, I think you’re being a little naive if you’re suggesting such chants are not homophobic. They’re clearly meant to insult and are therefore homophobic by nature. You’re right when you say a straight person should not be offended just because someone suggests they are gay. But it’s perfectly acceptable for people both gay and straight to object to homosexuality being used as an insult, because it is morally wrong. As with skin colour, sexual orientation is irrelevant and therefore shouldn’t warrant mention. It’s best summed up by pointing out the problem with your analogy. Even if all the folk of Brighton were “gay”, that wouldn’t make the chants acceptable. However if all the folk of Liverpool were actually “thieves” it would be perfectly acceptable to chant on the terraces. It’s not a matter of factual accuracy, one would deserve condemnation, the other wouldn’t.

  • mrbigwheels

    Certainly enjoyed reading this and viewpoints. Having just spent four days at Carfest North and 25,000 others at Oulton Park without a single incident of abuse, lack of respect, poor behaviour or a wish to exhibit tribal tendencies your article is totally relevant to my relaxed and very open mind.

    Most large gatherings providing entertainment never seem to provoke a certain percentage into returning to moronic caveman beings like football does.

    Football continues to have something to answer for in terms of pre and post behaviour around the match day. Drink gets blamed for most things but Rugby largely doesn’t suffer the on street thuggery that can claim the entire weekend for our monkey turned monster football fan.

    My own theory is purely down to attitude and self esteem. Unfortunately the football match day is nothing more for some than a place to build that self esteem, be the man and feel significant.

    Been happening for years and am not sure what will narrow down the problem but many aspects of it do need sorting.

    • henrymouni

      It is a great place to let off steam, and the frustrations of the week, (and the last 10 years, for us).
      Team sport is a tribal ‘battle’, where winning is paramount.
      In a world of peace and love there would be no need for it.
      That would be a pity!

  • Chareose

    Ref the sprawling conversation below on Political correctness, you see its negative side mostly in the media and this relates directly to politics.
    As mentioned by Mr UKIP last night, the reason we have 3 main stream political parties who are almost identical is partly because of the political correctness enforced by Britains wonderfully snide and negative media. Any politician who has an opinion that is even slightly controvercial gets lambasted and taken to peaces (not sure its a good example but the Kilroy Silk debacle always springs to mind).
    This results in politicians avoiding the truth and just telling people what is deemed as the “Right PR line” to take.
    That along with the fact that every government thinks in 5 year patterns because that’s how long they are voted in for must be two of the biggest barriers to really sorting out the problems in our society…

    We need more politicians with opinions and we need our goverments to think 10 /20 years in advance….

  • White Honk

    I had the misfortune to attend the nil-nil draw at Selhurst Park Champs play off Palace V Brighton last season (free ticket from a work colleague). Stood in the Palace section and the homophobic abuse was far worse than that heard at Elland Road on Saturday (doesn’t make it right I hasten to add). Football is today’s religion for the masses, we all know how extremists create their own doctrines from religion.

  • yorxman

    Rebuttal! The Brighton fans will love that

    • milano whites

      Nice one. Got to have a sense of humour. Leeds United and we don’t give a f**k!

  • Marc Butterworth

    Just to take this arguement a step further….. Is it ok for fans to chant about ginger haired people? or overweight People ?
    Who decides that homosexuals/blacks should have more protection or rights than fat or ginger people?
    I think a balance needs to be struck soon otherwise the only chanting allowed at football grounds will be along the lines of “who’s the not very nice man in the undefined colour”
    Obviously if the chanting is hate filled and obscene, then fair enough but as an overweight person myself, I get comments from my brother like “hey up fatman”, to which I reply “not bad Ginner”….. We dont instantly take offense and start crying into our hands….
    Its not the fans chanting that need to grow up, its the ones who take every little comment as a personal attack….

    • spellz

      You being mocked by your brother is a lot less intimidating than threats and chants from aggressive strangers would be the argument there I think and your comment about homosexuals/blacks is flawed in my view, as homosexuality is alot different to being Black.

      Blacks as you call them are humans and it is human rights for the reason we try to stamp out racism, not really on the same scale as sexuality where it is your own right to be what you want to be.

      • Marc Butterworth

        Sexuality is “your own right” ?? “What you want to be” ??
        What a load of garbage…. A gay man doesnt CHOOSE to be gay, you numpty… Just as a Black Man doesnt CHOOSE to be black….
        They are both born what they are, just different types of the human species…. as is a person with Ginger hair, or a person with an eating disorder, or a person with autism, or a person paralysed from the waist down…. Everyone is different and no particular variation deserves or is entitled to more rights than the other, or more less rights than the other….
        My point was that chanting or comments should be taken in the spirit they are intended…. A few fans chanting something at opposition fans to try and upset their team is totally different to someone screaming hate fueled abuse at them….
        Just because someone makes a comment, like “you big pufter” doesnt mean they are Homophobic. Just because someone refers to someone as a “Gupta” doesnt mean they are racist. Just because someone calls someone “Fatman”, doesnt mean they hate all fat people…..etc etc etc.
        The context of the statement has to be taken into account, as well as the words….
        We are far too wound up in this country with being overly PC and its got to the point where anyone who disagrees with or has any opinion on anything that doesnt fall into the VERY VERY thin band of Political Correctness is now regarded a facist….
        It needs to change and people need to be a little less touchy about everything and anything thats ever said or done…

        • spellz

          For a start homosexuals are not always born gay so you are the numpty there is straight men who have turned Gay and have had a wife and kids, so hows that? they must have been straight at one point, so NO it is not the same as being born a black person in my opinion, creed is totally different on a mass scale.

          I disagree that no variations should be treated differently As they are epically on different levels, an example there is a lot more black players in football and universally than there are Gay ones, hence stop racism campaigns in football otherwise if the the FA would agree with you we would have a lot of campaigns on there hands according to your logic of overweight, ginger, and homosexual people all very separate issues you have somehow grouped together, with your twisted logic.

          This debate is about a little town called Brighton and Hove which is a regional stereotype, there has been a huge amount more of global massacres disasters and historic events due to racism than there has been due to a small minority of homophobic chants, which brings me to my original point they are two hugely seperate issues you cannot put on the same scale I do agree political correctness can be over used and a lot of the times is way out of context but I suppose it is also there to keep peoples morales in check too.

  • Hatfield

    This article has some positive points and is definitely better than your response at the bottom of the We Are Brighton article. For example, you are right we should not make excuses for hooligans by saying they are “only a minority”.

    Your stance on homophobia is weaker though. You write: “I refuse to accept that there’s a problem with homophobia at Elland Road…to me, the homophobic insults are just a lazy stereotype used to get a reaction from opposition fans.”

    How can you “refuse to accept there’s a problem with homophobia at Elland Road” and then in the next sentence admit that “homophobic insults” occur at Elland Road? Homophobic insults are clearly a form of homophobia, so should not be tolerated at all. You’re right to be harsh on the homophobic hooligans outside the ground but any form of homophobic comment or chanting within the ground should be stamped out as well.

    If you had written: “I refuse to accept that there’s a problem with racism at Elland Road…to me, the racist insults are just a lazy stereotype used to get a reaction from opposition fans.” Would that be acceptable? No, of course it wouldn’t be.

    You are right that homophobia in football should be overcome in the same way as attempts to tackle racism: “We’ll simply stop accepting it.” But you have identified homophobia within Elland Road and then denied it is a problem and then made an excuse for it by saying it’s “just…used to get a reaction from opposition fans”. That is not the way racism has been combatted and it is not the way homophobia should be fought either.

    • henrymouni

      Racism is silly and is slowly disappearing.

      Homophobia is a different situation.

      Maybe we should not have a problem with a man shoving his ‘johnson’ up another man’s bottom?

      “and it is not the way homophobia should be fought either”.

      How would you fight it?

      • Matthew

        He would fight it by marking down people who don’t agree with him on here like he has done already ;).

      • Hatfield

        As I hinted at in my first post, any homophobic comments or chanting should be completely unacceptable within Elland Road and anywhere else – just as racism is.
        The third sentence of your post marks you out as both homophobic and an idiot.

        • henrymouni

          “should be” means nothing Hatfield.
          You think calling me an idiot is acceptable behaviour???
          You are just as judgemental as everybody else.
          The third sentence of my post is the truth.
          Many people feel that it is an unnatural practice.
          You obviously don’t.

          • Hatfield

            I only used “should be” because unfortunately some Leeds fans, like you, are still homophobic. Even The Scratching Shed’s article seemed to accept a degree of homophobia within Elland Road. Homophobia is unacceptable and Leeds fans need to make that the case inside the ground.

          • henrymouni

            You do not know me.
            I have never chanted anything racist or homophobic in my life, but I know you cannot stop it.
            Homosexual is not illegal anymore, and I have no interest in hurting or insulting them.
            I am pointing out that many people do not accept it, and never will, no matter what.
            I find the whole thing uncomfortable to contemplate, but I know there is nothing they can do to change how they feel.
            The first step is not to judge people you don’t know.

          • Hatfield

            I’m glad you haven’t chanted anything racist or homophobic in your life. Unfortunately you did make a homophobic comment on this article that tries to claim Leeds fans are not homophobic. Some Leeds fans should rethink their views on homophobia just as some will have done on racism over the last 30 years.

          • henrymouni

            I have not said anything about Leeds fans being Homophobic, that was you.
            I can only speak for myself.
            I did note make a homophobic comment.
            I was trying to explain to people, like you, who like to tell other people what they should think or do.
            Although the thought of 2 men engaging in sex is not something I feel relaxed with, I did not say they shouldn’t do it.
            They have their lives to live, and should not be persecuted for it.
            You are the one saying what people should do.
            You can never stop offensive chanting, or violence and anger.
            It is part of who we will always be.

        • frank shankley

          getting in peoples faces being violent screaming any kind of abuse is wrong, undoubtedly!! But really are we so sensitive that “we can see you holding hands” and similar chants really offend us, it’s lame. FFS its a football stadium,the working man/womans release of a saturday, or it should be and no, thats not to say anything goes but lets get real.

          Are one of the johnny come lately football is a TV show types? if not how did you cope back when football was played in front of terraces that swayed, bounced and surged from the top of the kop to the bottom and banter really was banter.

          That you call a fellow fan an idiot shows the type of person you are too, his opinion isn’t as ‘prissy’ as yours but he doesn’t insult you? I’d say his 3rd sentence is an attempt at humour and that you being offended is pathetic, did you canvas any homosexual opinion or are you just another self appointed defender of those that don’t wish to be defended (that word is awful by the way, gay is probably much more acceptable)? Would you like christmas at elland road banned too, seriously where does this stop, racism is gone and needed to go but this is pathetic, I really do not imagine many people seriously have homophobic attitudes, this is 2013 and its just accepted (being gay), what about the banter with ginger folk, fat folk, goofy folk or having big ears, are you disgusted when the fat lad in the away stand finds it funny that 500 are singing 90 pies an hour at him, if not where’s your consistency? What about swearing or acting aggressively where kids are, should a football ground be like a theatre, even Roy Keane railed at the prawn sandwich brigade!!

  • John

    Plenty of abuse on twitter from Brighton fans before the game. Its funny how the endless tweets about ‘Leeds scum’ etc never get mentioned. I think they expected to just turn up and win , it must have been a smack in the face for them to lose, hence the bitter article.

  • Mark

    I wasn’t at the game on Saturday so can’t comment on it, but the people I spoke to said what a great atmosphere it was, this is the first I have heard anything negative about the game. I know Brighton fans have been recipients of homophobic chanting in the past, so the blogger should not label all Leeds fans homophobic if it did go on, if you have 30,000 people turning up then some of them are bound to be idiots. Sadly football still exists in its own bubble, the vast majority of football fans know this type of thing is wrong, but many casual fans turn up and do this sort of thing and dissapear

  • Notlaw

    I was at the game on Sat never heard a thing.
    However, as a fan I have heard abusive and bad language around me and when I do I kindly ask the person to moderate his language. In 99% of the cases the individuals do that. I have reported abuse to Stewards at Elland road on two occasions in 10 years.
    The Leeds steward system of Orange and then Purple vested staff always act and ask the individuals to calm down and one occasion they justifiably acted with a strong and positive response.
    To me if all fans acted in this way and help police the minority ourselves with the help of the Club Stewards then we can keep all this problem under control.
    There will always be a minority of some kind in society and Leeds, and Brighton for that matter will have theirs.

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  • keithpa

    What shocked my son and daughter at ER on Saturday was the singing of the Munich song by Brighton fans in the West Stand – far worse than the joke chants about their sexuality, IHMO! Keith

  • milano whites

    Wot a load of PC bollox. Banter is banter.

  • milano whites

    how many lived….?

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