UPDATED: Bolton Wanderers fans warned not to sing homophobic chants at Brighton game

The Bolton News: Bolton Wanderers fans warned not to sing homophobic chants at Brighton game Bolton Wanderers fans warned not to sing homophobic chants at Brighton game

BOLTON Wanderers fans are being warned not to sing homophobic chants at the Brighton game tomorrow.

The club and the police say any such chants "will not be tolerated".

They will be running a campaign at the match, with stewards and officers handing cards to both sets of fans about reporting hate crime.

There will also be an advert in the match-day programmes outlining the club’s support for police action against homophobic offences.

Stewards have been asked to inform officers if they hear any derogatory comments.

PC Rob Smith, Bolton's football co-ordination officer for Greater Manchester Police, said: “The message to anyone tempted to get involved in homophobic chants, or any other kind of abuse, is simple – don’t do it, or you will be arrested.

"Some people regard this sort of thing as just a bit of banter, but it isn’t – it can cause great offence to those it’s directed at, and we will take positive action against offenders.”

Bolton Wanderers club chaplain Phil Mason said: “I don’t just want to focus on this one game - people need to be aware of hate crime generally.

“Homophobic chanting has no place in football — it’s not helpful or supportive.


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"The idea of this campaign is to ensure that people who come to football will have a positive experience regardless of their age, sex, or race.

“It’s absolutely vital to educate young people on this issue, because often young people’s views can be formed at a very early age.

"We want to help them to think for themselves and help them formulate how they perceive people.

“I think there’s always room for improvement and the only way to improve is to keep raising awareness of hate crime and emphasize that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

"There is no room for it in a modern society.”

In April last year, the Brighton and Hove Supporters Club (BHASC) and the Gay Football Supporters' Network (GFSN) submitted a dossier detailing homophobic abuse that fans have received at stadiums across the UK.

They reported hearing homophopic songs at both home and away games against Bolton on November 24, 2012, and March 9, 2013.

The groups contacted Bolton Wanderers for a response and received a reply on the first occasion but not on the second.

To report hate crime, call police on 101, report it online at report-it.org.uk.

Comments (28)

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12:26pm Fri 14 Mar 14

steveG says...

It's a very sad day for a society which used to value freedom of speech when the authorities see fit to curtail that freedom. Whether you agree or disagree with the behaviour of any section of society, the case should be that unless you cause physical harm or threaten violence you are at liberty to express your view no matter how stupid.
Shame on Bolton Wanderers for appearing complicit in pursuing this ridiculous interpretation of "hate crime".
It's a very sad day for a society which used to value freedom of speech when the authorities see fit to curtail that freedom. Whether you agree or disagree with the behaviour of any section of society, the case should be that unless you cause physical harm or threaten violence you are at liberty to express your view no matter how stupid. Shame on Bolton Wanderers for appearing complicit in pursuing this ridiculous interpretation of "hate crime". steveG
  • Score: 23

12:41pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Wolfie190 says...

Are the fans still allowed to shout and swear at the referee and the players though unless they're gay or black ?
Are the fans still allowed to shout and swear at the referee and the players though unless they're gay or black ? Wolfie190
  • Score: 29

12:52pm Fri 14 Mar 14

michaelg19 says...

that guys a tool, freedom of speech so you can't mod this cheers
that guys a tool, freedom of speech so you can't mod this cheers michaelg19
  • Score: -10

1:08pm Fri 14 Mar 14

trotter1874 says...

There's plenty in life that offends me but I do not expect the police to go around making arrests every time. How does the word 'phobic' (an extreme fear of something) suddenly escalate to 'hate crime' in a few sentences. I've had 3000 Man Utd fans screaming songs at me about being an 'inbred' but I wouldn't expect the police to get involved unless of course it escalate beyond that.

You cannot pick and choose what offends and what doesn't!, it's all or nothing!

I often refer top the Welsh as sheepshaggers yet I'm married to a girl from the Valleys.....it's called a sense of humour!
There's plenty in life that offends me but I do not expect the police to go around making arrests every time. How does the word 'phobic' (an extreme fear of something) suddenly escalate to 'hate crime' in a few sentences. I've had 3000 Man Utd fans screaming songs at me about being an 'inbred' but I wouldn't expect the police to get involved unless of course it escalate beyond that. You cannot pick and choose what offends and what doesn't!, it's all or nothing! I often refer top the Welsh as sheepshaggers yet I'm married to a girl from the Valleys.....it's called a sense of humour! trotter1874
  • Score: 51

1:29pm Fri 14 Mar 14

michaelg19 says...

Would the same comments be posted if the article was a Muslim Preacher in bolton town centre pushing sharia law on the citizens of Bolton?
If so, then I retract my comment about 'freedom of speech'
Would the same comments be posted if the article was a Muslim Preacher in bolton town centre pushing sharia law on the citizens of Bolton? If so, then I retract my comment about 'freedom of speech' michaelg19
  • Score: 42

1:38pm Fri 14 Mar 14

I, Ludicrous says...

Are there many songs on the theme anyway? I can't imagine ever sitting down and thinking 'I know, I'll pen a little ditty with a pejorative undertone on the subject of man sex to be sung at the match'.
Are there many songs on the theme anyway? I can't imagine ever sitting down and thinking 'I know, I'll pen a little ditty with a pejorative undertone on the subject of man sex to be sung at the match'. I, Ludicrous
  • Score: 28

1:55pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Beyond News Forum says...

trotter1874 wrote:
There's plenty in life that offends me but I do not expect the police to go around making arrests every time. How does the word 'phobic' (an extreme fear of something) suddenly escalate to 'hate crime' in a few sentences. I've had 3000 Man Utd fans screaming songs at me about being an 'inbred' but I wouldn't expect the police to get involved unless of course it escalate beyond that.

You cannot pick and choose what offends and what doesn't!, it's all or nothing!

I often refer top the Welsh as sheepshaggers yet I'm married to a girl from the Valleys.....it's called a sense of humour!
You said M*n U*d you should be arrested for that! :p ;)

I agree BTW
[quote][p][bold]trotter1874[/bold] wrote: There's plenty in life that offends me but I do not expect the police to go around making arrests every time. How does the word 'phobic' (an extreme fear of something) suddenly escalate to 'hate crime' in a few sentences. I've had 3000 Man Utd fans screaming songs at me about being an 'inbred' but I wouldn't expect the police to get involved unless of course it escalate beyond that. You cannot pick and choose what offends and what doesn't!, it's all or nothing! I often refer top the Welsh as sheepshaggers yet I'm married to a girl from the Valleys.....it's called a sense of humour![/p][/quote]You said M*n U*d you should be arrested for that! :p ;) I agree BTW Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 25

2:10pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Maverick72 says...

I agree SteveG. This imposed morality and restricting freedom of speech is every bit oppressive, tryannical and offensive as what they're supposed to be arguing against. I'm gay and not in the least bit offending by words...let alone football terrace banter. It's the actions that matter. The comedian Matt Lucas passed comment about one particular song directed at Brighton fans being actually quite funny...and it is. I was once physically attacked because of my sexuality so i know too well what it is like....i didn't see it as homophobic ,( i hate this word) just mindless thuggery and stupidity. Now that offends me....not satirical, silly ditties sung at a football match. Pathetic.
I agree SteveG. This imposed morality and restricting freedom of speech is every bit oppressive, tryannical and offensive as what they're supposed to be arguing against. I'm gay and not in the least bit offending by words...let alone football terrace banter. It's the actions that matter. The comedian Matt Lucas passed comment about one particular song directed at Brighton fans being actually quite funny...and it is. I was once physically attacked because of my sexuality so i know too well what it is like....i didn't see it as homophobic ,( i hate this word) just mindless thuggery and stupidity. Now that offends me....not satirical, silly ditties sung at a football match. Pathetic. Maverick72
  • Score: 34

2:37pm Fri 14 Mar 14

n-munky says...

Does singing a ditty about poofs in Brighton really constitute an extreme fear of homosexuals??? "homophobia".
Does singing a ditty about poofs in Brighton really constitute an extreme fear of homosexuals??? "homophobia". n-munky
  • Score: 27

2:42pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Maverick72 says...

n-munky wrote:
Does singing a ditty about poofs in Brighton really constitute an extreme fear of homosexuals??? "homophobia".
Exactly.
[quote][p][bold]n-munky[/bold] wrote: Does singing a ditty about poofs in Brighton really constitute an extreme fear of homosexuals??? "homophobia".[/p][/quote]Exactly. Maverick72
  • Score: 18

2:58pm Fri 14 Mar 14

ar2014 says...

I'm a Bolton fan (who also happens to be gay), and I find this rule ridiculous. It's not a hate crime in my opinion, or a crime at all, in fact I'd probably join in the chants! It's a simple bit of jokey banter, playing on the stereotypes of Brighton, like we do with most other teams. Brighton does have a large gay population this is a fact. Wales/Yorkshire has a large sheep population. Burnley/Blackburn are traditionally portrayed as inbreds. Liverpool has high unemployment hence the 'get a job' chants. It's not offensive, it's a joke! Get over it!
I'm a Bolton fan (who also happens to be gay), and I find this rule ridiculous. It's not a hate crime in my opinion, or a crime at all, in fact I'd probably join in the chants! It's a simple bit of jokey banter, playing on the stereotypes of Brighton, like we do with most other teams. Brighton does have a large gay population this is a fact. Wales/Yorkshire has a large sheep population. Burnley/Blackburn are traditionally portrayed as inbreds. Liverpool has high unemployment hence the 'get a job' chants. It's not offensive, it's a joke! Get over it! ar2014
  • Score: 41

2:59pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Maverick72 says...

...and it is harmless banter....it's as old as the baiting crowd watching the roman gladiators, and those guys got up to all sorts!! There's as much bromance and male-bonding on the pitch, so any charming funny songs thrown at fans of a team that just so happens to come from a place known for its vibrant gay scene, should matter not a jot. Life is one big pantomime....boo hiss, it's behind you! Shame that so many people have a humour-bypass, and attempting to make people sensitive and offended by the slightest of words, rhymes and witty couplets is one step back in the dark ages. Political correctness gone completely insane, and yes, my boyfriend knows i'm here.
...and it is harmless banter....it's as old as the baiting crowd watching the roman gladiators, and those guys got up to all sorts!! There's as much bromance and male-bonding on the pitch, so any charming funny songs thrown at fans of a team that just so happens to come from a place known for its vibrant gay scene, should matter not a jot. Life is one big pantomime....boo hiss, it's behind you! Shame that so many people have a humour-bypass, and attempting to make people sensitive and offended by the slightest of words, rhymes and witty couplets is one step back in the dark ages. Political correctness gone completely insane, and yes, my boyfriend knows i'm here. Maverick72
  • Score: 24

4:00pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Rememberscarborough says...

It's extremely difficult to commit any sort of crime whilst singing....
It's extremely difficult to commit any sort of crime whilst singing.... Rememberscarborough
  • Score: 18

5:18pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Micky Mack says...

Not seen many away fans getting arrested for spouting vile 'anti ginger' abuse ant our goalkeeper.
Could thistype of abuse not 'cause great offence to those it is aimed at' (to use PC Rob Smith's words). Surely by definition therefore it is a hate crime.
Look forward to seeing more ejections from the away end - won't be many fans left in there by the end i suspect.
Not seen many away fans getting arrested for spouting vile 'anti ginger' abuse ant our goalkeeper. Could thistype of abuse not 'cause great offence to those it is aimed at' (to use PC Rob Smith's words). Surely by definition therefore it is a hate crime. Look forward to seeing more ejections from the away end - won't be many fans left in there by the end i suspect. Micky Mack
  • Score: 15

6:17pm Fri 14 Mar 14

boltonnut says...

If the BN had not published this article fans would probably have not given thegay chant much thought.Now they have been "baited".Tell someone not to do something and the opposite happens.Just remember when you go to the game watch you back........side.
If the BN had not published this article fans would probably have not given thegay chant much thought.Now they have been "baited".Tell someone not to do something and the opposite happens.Just remember when you go to the game watch you back........side. boltonnut
  • Score: 17

7:54pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Beyond News Forum says...

boltonnut wrote:
If the BN had not published this article fans would probably have not given thegay chant much thought.Now they have been "baited".Tell someone not to do something and the opposite happens.Just remember when you go to the game watch you back........side.
Titters
[quote][p][bold]boltonnut[/bold] wrote: If the BN had not published this article fans would probably have not given thegay chant much thought.Now they have been "baited".Tell someone not to do something and the opposite happens.Just remember when you go to the game watch you back........side.[/p][/quote]Titters Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 4

8:54pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Keeper of the Peace says...

Oh dear so glad I don't live in Bolton.....
Oh dear so glad I don't live in Bolton..... Keeper of the Peace
  • Score: -10

9:32pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Reebok Al says...

Will the Brighton fans be arrested if they chant "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" ?
Will the Brighton fans be arrested if they chant "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" ? Reebok Al
  • Score: 12

7:19am Sat 15 Mar 14

hoping4peace says...

nanny state ( am i allowed to say that?) once again,

what really offends me is footballers wages!!
how are the police and bwfc going to deal with that?
nanny state ( am i allowed to say that?) once again, what really offends me is footballers wages!! how are the police and bwfc going to deal with that? hoping4peace
  • Score: 8

9:07am Sat 15 Mar 14

frankandbill says...

Reebok Al wrote:
Will the Brighton fans be arrested if they chant "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" ?
Brilliant!
[quote][p][bold]Reebok Al[/bold] wrote: Will the Brighton fans be arrested if they chant "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" ?[/p][/quote]Brilliant! frankandbill
  • Score: 5

9:13am Sat 15 Mar 14

frankandbill says...

What's really pleasing are the responses to this article. Clearly the vast majority of people can see terrace banter for what it really is and don't go along with those that seek to police thoughts and words.

And what's clearly evident is the giant cultural chasm that exists between the authorities and the general public. The sooner we crush this petty authoritarianism the better.
What's really pleasing are the responses to this article. Clearly the vast majority of people can see terrace banter for what it really is and don't go along with those that seek to police thoughts and words. And what's clearly evident is the giant cultural chasm that exists between the authorities and the general public. The sooner we crush this petty authoritarianism the better. frankandbill
  • Score: 9

10:21am Sat 15 Mar 14

Wolfie190 says...

Our police are on a different planet.
Our police are on a different planet. Wolfie190
  • Score: 4

11:01am Sat 15 Mar 14

Never_Wrong says...

So is it still wrong to throw bananas and do monkey chants at black players?
So is it still wrong to throw bananas and do monkey chants at black players? Never_Wrong
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Sun 16 Mar 14

MrBenggo says...

There's not much to chant about Bolton losing 0-2,You have to be keen to go and watch a team keep losing.
There's not much to chant about Bolton losing 0-2,You have to be keen to go and watch a team keep losing. MrBenggo
  • Score: 1

6:05pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Greasy Chip Butty says...

I remember going to watch the "white men" with whole sections of Bolton fans (probably half of them not even from Bolton) chanting at women to get their breasts out, mimicking monkey noises at Black players, shouting out terms which disabled folk would find offensive.
Not really a family friendly environment was it?
I remember going to watch the "white men" with whole sections of Bolton fans (probably half of them not even from Bolton) chanting at women to get their breasts out, mimicking monkey noises at Black players, shouting out terms which disabled folk would find offensive. Not really a family friendly environment was it? Greasy Chip Butty
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Mon 17 Mar 14

pimpmaster says...

Reebok Al wrote:
Will the Brighton fans be arrested if they chant "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" ?
no because it is not illegal to say that. but chanting homophobic songs is. which most people seem to be missing here.
[quote][p][bold]Reebok Al[/bold] wrote: Will the Brighton fans be arrested if they chant "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" ?[/p][/quote]no because it is not illegal to say that. but chanting homophobic songs is. which most people seem to be missing here. pimpmaster
  • Score: -2

11:21am Thu 20 Mar 14

Donkey Stone says...

Keeper of the Peace wrote:
Oh dear so glad I don't live in Bolton.....
So are we:)
[quote][p][bold]Keeper of the Peace[/bold] wrote: Oh dear so glad I don't live in Bolton.....[/p][/quote]So are we:) Donkey Stone
  • Score: 4

2:12pm Thu 20 Mar 14

MarkAllRead says...

Rememberscarborough wrote:
It's extremely difficult to commit any sort of crime whilst singing....
Clearly you've never watched X Factor.
[quote][p][bold]Rememberscarborough[/bold] wrote: It's extremely difficult to commit any sort of crime whilst singing....[/p][/quote]Clearly you've never watched X Factor. MarkAllRead
  • Score: 0

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