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Majority of football fans would support gay players, poll shows

Published 26/10/2016

Football Association chairman Greg Clarke spoke about the issues of homophobia during a session in front of the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke spoke about the issues of homophobia during a session in front of the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee

The majority of football fans in Britain would have no issues with an openly gay player at their club, according to a survey carried out for BBC Radio 5 live.

Last week Football Association chairman Greg Clarke told a Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee he "would be amazed" if there were not a gay player in the Premier League and felt "ashamed" that to date no one had been confident enough to publicly reveal their sexuality.

Clarke also believed an openly gay Premier League player would be subjected to "significant abuse" from supporters and he would be "cautious" about advising a player to come out until homophobic abuse could be stamped out.

An online poll of more than 4,000 people across England, Wales and Scotland, conducted by research company ComRes on behalf of BBC Radio 5 live, found 82 per cent of football fans said they would not have a problem with an openly gay player at their club.

Eight per cent, though, said they would not watch their team if there was an openly gay player in the side.

The survey also reported 61 per cent of football fans believe gay players should come out to help others do the same, while 71 per cent feel clubs should do more to educate supporters about homophobia.

Of the survey sample, 50 per cent said they had heard homophobic abuse at a sports match, with 51 per cent saying they have heard sexist abuse at a match and 59 per cent saying they have heard racist abuse.

Press Association

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