Football player Twitter abuse victim fights back with gay ‘friendly’

Friendly matches held between supporters and LGBT clubs raising awareness of homophobia in UK football as Euro 2012 fears continue

Football player Twitter abuse victim fights back with gay ‘friendly’
11 June 2012

The victim of an anti-gay tweet sent by UK footballer Manny Smith hopes to tackle homophobia in the British sport by holding matches between supporters and LGBT teams.

The Walsall FC defender was fined £1,200 after sending homophobic abuse to life-long supporter Kevin Paddock on Twitter in February.

In response, Paddock decided to organize national ‘friendly’ matches between supporters’ trusts and LGBT community football teams to raise awareness of homophobia in the soccer world.

The first match between Walsall Supporters Trust FC and LGBT club Birmingham Blaze FC was held at Sutton Coldfield FC in the Midlands on Saturday (9 June).

‘The life of a football club is its supporters,’ said Paddock.

‘By arranging matches between LGBT community sides, this will give us a great foundation enabling both communities to integrate.

‘I’d like to thank Sutton Coldfield FC for the use of their facilities, and also Birmingham Blaze and Walsall Supporters Trust, as we all strive towards one goal, eradicating homophobia from the "beautiful game".’

The Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) applauded Paddock for turning his experience of homophobia into something ‘constructive’.

GFSN chair Chris Basiurski said: ‘With all eyes on the potential for racism and homophobia at the Euros in Ukraine and Poland, it is good to remember that we still need to do a great deal of work here at home and this game highlights that.

‘We are sure it will be a big success and congratulate Kevin on his efforts.’

Gay football fans were warned to keep a low profile or to simply stay away from the Euro 2012 championship in the Ukraine and Poland, following violent attacks on the LGBT community.

Last month, Gay Star News reported the homophobic attack on Svyatoslav Sheremet, head of the Gay Forum of Ukraine, after fear of violence from far-right thugs forced the cancellation of Kiev’s first gay pride parade.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Gay man told he can't move into London flat because he's not straight

'This is why I mention I'm gay in my enquiries. Dodged a bullet'
No thumbnail available

Bold make-up making a statement against hate for murdered Sophie

Make-up artists at Illamasqua are celebrating the life and identity of murdered goth Sophie Lancaster and fighting hate with their tribute eye design
No thumbnail available

Malaysia court scraps cross-dressing ban

Judge says the law is 'degrading, oppressive and inhuman'
Big weekend of LGBT sport kicks off in Paris!

Big weekend of LGBT sport kicks off in Paris!

Nearly 2000 people competing in one of the world’s biggest LGBT multi-sports events
No thumbnail available

Coca-Cola axed from gay awards short-list over Sochi sponsorship

Coca-Cola declines chance to comment after being pulled from awards. Gay advocates say they should condemn Russian homophobia
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Ellen's bold 2015 prediction and other New Year celebrity tweets

Matt Bomer, Laverne Cox, Raven-Symonè and Adam Lambert among those sharing messages on social media
No thumbnail available

Celebrity Big Brother’s Dappy warned for anti-gay comments

British reality show bosses have accused the rapper for using 'bent' as a gay slur after Evander Holyfield said being gay was a 'choice' and could be 'fixed'
No thumbnail available

Your Grindr chats could be streaming live online for 'art'

Some angry gay men feel like their privacy has been violated and are seeking legal action
No thumbnail available

Cook Islands queen: anti-gay laws are 'unfair'

Pacific nation bans gay sex and marriage