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Football fan, 20, charged with shouting anti-gay slur at match in Brighton

Football fan, 20, charged with shouting anti-gay slur at match in Brighton

A footballer sports rainbow laces produced by LGBT advocacy group Stonewall Premier

A British 20-year-old football fan was ejected after shouting a homophobic slur at a match on Sunday.

George Bradley, from Greenwich, is being charged and due to appear in court next year.

The young Chelsea fan is accused of using ‘threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behavior’.

The court’s charges say his alleged actions were likely to ’cause harassment, alarm or distress’.

Bradley will appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on 3 January.

Football fan charged with shouting homophobic slur at match

A statement from Sussex Police read: ‘The vast majority of Chelsea fans supported their team with passion and pride and were a credit to their club.

‘One individual was ejected from the away section after club stewards dealt with an isolated incident of alleged homophobia.

‘The individual was subsequently arrested and charged and his details have been passed to Chelsea FC, so they can take the appropriate action.’

Bradley was also told not to attend any Chelsea Football Club match, home or away.

Premier League clubs have recently attempted to do more to combat homophobia.

But in doing so, they have experienced a spate of homophobic abuse.

Football fans attack clubs for trying to combat homophobia

Big name teams, such as Arsenal and Chelsea, have been receiving homophobic responses to their participation in the Rainbow Laces campaign. 

Manchester United, which also participated in the campaign, received more than 43,000 ‘angry’ comments on the official Facebook page.

The Rainbow Laces campaign was created by Stonewall and involves high-profile sportspeople wearing rainbow attire, such as captain armbands or shoelaces.

LGBTI rights campaigners lauded Premier clubs’ involvement in the Rainbow Laces campaign as a major step forward for progressing LGBTI awareness in sports.

Homophobia is deeply entrenched in soccer culture in the UK, which has led to many players to remaining closeted.

The climate has also had an effect on the fandom of the sport. According to a 2017 Stonewall survey, 43% of the LGBTI people polled said they found sporting events unwelcoming.