Manchester United: Homophobia has no place in football

Manchester United have issued a statement condemning homophobic chants that we heard during our game against Chelsea on Saturday.

In a statement, the club said (via ManUtd.com): “Homophobia, like all forms of discrimination, has no place in football. Manchester United is proud of our diverse fan base and the work we have done to reduce instances like we sadly heard at Stamford Bridge.

“We will continue to campaign for inclusivity and to tackle discriminatory abuse whether inside stadiums or online. This includes working with fan groups to educate fans on the offence which discriminatory language causes.”

The club has continued to work with fan groups to tackle homophobia and other forms of discrimination, and Erik ten Hag told reporters that such chants do not belong in the stands. United launched its own ‘One Love’ campaign this weekend, so the chants came at a time when there was visual support for LGBTQ+ groups.

Ten Hag showed his support for the cause on Saturday by wearing a badge promoting Stonewall’s ‘Rainbow Laces’ initiative to celebrate inclusion in football – which is something we want on the pitch as well as in the stands at football matches.

The two captains, including Bruno Fernandes, wore a rainbow armband for the match.

Homophobia has no place in football. I, for one, am proud of United’s diverse fan base and a few chants at Stamford Bridge doesn’t change that. They were unacceptable and we will hear more about the consequences in the coming days or months.

We must push for inclusivity and to tackle abuse such as this inside the stadiums and online. Some education around chants may help.

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