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Federation in 2010 to call for the country’s gay players to come out and challenge the conceived wisdom. Hamburg-based St.Pauli have legions of supporters all over the world thanks to their left wing, anti-fascist political views. The club began flying the rainbow flag back in 2013 and often set the pace for the progressive agenda. This isn’t aiming to introduce anything new to the sport. It’s simply to represent a cause which is already present at every football ground in the country. A conservative estimate suggests that 1.5% of the British population is gay. It would therefore be safe to assume that as many as 780 supporters at a typical Newcastle United home game are too. To think otherwise is at best naïve and, at its very worst, completely ignorant. Football has made such strides in combating other tf 40

forms of discrimination that it’s easy to think that the battle against homophobia is following a similar trajectory. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Whereas the Kick It Out and other similar anti-racism campaigns are part of the fabric of English football, similar efforts to tackle homophobia have fallen on deaf ears. As recently as 2010 the FA was forced to shelve plans for a promotional video intended to discourage anti-gay chanting at matches. With seemingly no Premier League players willing to be associated with homosexuality, we’re still a long way from where we need to be. It seems a certain group of English football fans feel as if the game is being taken away from them. And maybe it is. By 12pm kick offs and Red Mondays. By extortionate ticket prices and official noodle partners. By

corporate boxes with Michelin star chefs. By Piers Morgan and the Twitterati. By plane banners. Transfer Deadline Day. By announcing your new signing in a fake Whatsapp group. By Fifa, Qatar 2022 and migrant workers dying as they build air-conditioned stadiums to accommodate despots and dictators. The game absolutely is not, and will never, be stolen by young gay men who are growing up wondering whether their sexual identity and support of Newcastle United are compatible. By backing this flag Newcastle United can lead English football across its final frontier. If you’re reading this and you’re wondering why there isn’t a plan for a flag which celebrates your identity, just be thankful that you don’t need one.

If you’re reading this and you’re wondering why there isn’t a plan for a flag which celebrates your identity, just be thankful that you don’t need one

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True faith 132  

Newcastle United back in the Premier League with Rafa Benitez serenely assembling his squad for the new challenges and receiving every possi...

True faith 132  

Newcastle United back in the Premier League with Rafa Benitez serenely assembling his squad for the new challenges and receiving every possi...