Over the last few days a lot has been spoken and tweeted about regarding the LGBT flag on display at White Hart Lane. Oly makes his debut on The Fighting Cock front page and gives his views on the situation.
Spurs fans on Twitter are well accustomed to schisms amongst the faithful; will Stadium:MK serve Carlsberg at the necessary above room temperature? Has Levy really forgotten his pin number? Is Stambouli’s guitar playing up to scratch? While many discussions taking place across our timelines are often heated, the subject matters, despite the passion displayed, are benign in comparison to the latest rift.
Unless you’ve been living in Soldado’s scoring boots, you’ll know I’m referring to The Flag and the SpursLGBT supporters group. The outrage/condemnation to the group and its treatment is, in my view, threefold: outright, bigoted homophobia; reverse engineered homophobia; reasoned disapproval. What strikes me in all three camps is one thing: none can provide an alternative to what they see as a problem.
People choose to challenge views and show solidarity in many ways, whether it be signing a petition, writing an opinion piece or standing side-by-side. There is no golden rule on how to change views or engender acceptance. People have been trying for millennia and will continue to do so. If the message is acceptance and love, then what’s the problem?
Everyone who goes to the Lane is there to enjoy the team, experience a togetherness and sing as one voice. Despite this, we all hear things on the terraces we disagree with and have no place anywhere. While the issues with racism at football has come on leaps and bounds, we are still some way from addressing homophobia in the stands.
While the issues with racism at football has come on leaps and bounds, we are still some way from addressing homophobia in the stands
As a white, heterosexual male, I understand I’m in the demography least likely to be subject to discrimination in everyday life. I don’t, though, live in a cave; I only have to open the newspaper, visit the pub, or, sadly, go to a match to hear the language of primordial no-wits. Not that everyday discrimination is pardonable, but if I’m trying to enjoy myself (yes, watching Spurs is meant to be enjoyable, I’m assured) I think I’d find it all the more upsetting.
So why not stand together and show you’re proud and let the bigots know you’re there? F*** it, put a bloody massive flag up just in case you’ve not caught their attention. Show in numbers you’re there. Show them it’s your club as much as anyone’s. If it helps change views and makes you feel comfortable watching your beloved team, good for you.
It’s worth noting at this juncture, if you happen to be gay, you can still sit where you want.
Now to address the trio of naysayers. The aforementioned outright bigots are easily dealt with: grow up, you have no place being outside of the house without a guardian, note from mum or not. The reverse engineered homophobes are, in brief, the last bunch’s elder sibling; slightly more socially aware, though stupid enough to run their gums until someone calls them out. At this point they engineer an argument based on disapproving of the group’s methods, quickly scrambling for an exit so no one thinks any less of them.
Show in numbers you’re there. Show them it’s your club as much as anyone’s
Finally, there are those who are able to articulate their disapproval without ridiculing or lampooning the group. I have no issue with this per se, but what I do notice is the distinct lack of cohesive alternatives being suggested. If you don’t like the means, fair enough, but if you’re a reasonable human being capable of holding a conversation, then I’d like to think you can see the merit in a group of people at least trying to make a difference. I’m not saying shut up, maybe just hold your tongue until you’ve a better idea.
I get a tonne of enjoyment from interacting with Spurs fans on Twitter. It’s pretty miserable seeing people tear strips off one another over this. As a Club (capital C, innit) we are great at standing up to bullies. Let’s get behind this great movement and show the rest of football how it’s done. After all, that’s what Spurs do best. COYS.