Liverpool FC have called out fans for their homophobic behavior after slurs were hurled at a Norwich City player.
On Friday (13 August), Liverpool started their Premier League season on a high note when they won against Norwich City with a 3-0 score.
However, the celebrations were overshadowed when fans were caught harassing Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour by calling him a “rent boy.”
The long-running offensive term has often been used in the past towards Chelsea and their players.
Kop Outs, a group for LGBTQ+ LFC fans, opened up about the incident in tweet.
“Great result today marred by homophobic chanting by some of our fans targeting Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour. If you can’t support without resorting to bigoted nonsense, you don’t understand YNWA,” they tweeted.
Liverpool FC quote tweeted Kop Outs post while also condemning the homophobic fans responsible for the slur.
“The chant is offensive and inappropriate – a message we have repeatedly communicated alongside KOP Outs,” they wrote. “We urge supporters to remember the inclusive values of the club and to remain from using it in the future.”
The chant is offensive and inappropriate – a message we have repeatedly communicated alongside Kop Outs.
We urge supporters to remember the inclusive values of the club and to refrain from using it in the future. https://t.co/67Q5SKoa88
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 14, 2021
This isn’t the first time that Liverpool fans have been called out for using the offensive chant.
Back in 2019, Kick It Out – which is a quality and inclusion organisation – released a statement regarding the use of the slur, stating: “The ‘rent boy’ chants have been directed at Chelsea for years, with little action taken by the FA or Police – and that must not continue.”
The continued: “We expect stronger condemnation and appropriate sanctions, just as we would for any other form of discriminatory chanting.”
The pushback towards homophobic chanting has also been seen from LGBTQ+ rights charity, Stonewall.
Last year, the organization called on football stewards to be trained to recognise homophobic chants during football matches. The comments came after a Manchester United match against Chelsea was marred by homophobic chants.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Robbie de Santos, Stonewall UK’s director of sport, said: “We need to see more training specifically targeted at stewards – they need to feel more confident in knowing what LGBT discrimination looks like.”
He added that although stewards knew how to confront racism, there was a “grey area” surrounding homophobia, and that lifetimes bans for homophobic fans “don’t necessarily have to be the only answer” and that punishment should be given to change behaviour.