We’ll turn three months old next December 11th and we’ve come a long way since then. It started with a wild group of fans who just got too sick of reading homophobic comments mingled with the sport that’s supposed to be a beautiful celebration of team spirit and incredible game play. And here we are.
Where are we and what are we up to?
We’ve gathered support of like-minded groups and made our presence known to various organizations, including football clubs and official fan groups. Don’t let this tumblr account’s activity deceive you, since the tumblr not only is not the main platform of activity of Red Card Homophobia. Here, we’re just trying to gather more supporters, every now and then asking for your aid in our endeavors outside of this particular online base. Our Blog is where we post our more refined ideas and, opposed to that, our Forum as well as our LiveJournal are the places where we gather the raw ideas to make them bloom.
For those of you really interested in giving your full support to the cause, it would be invaluable to follow our advances in as many of these places as possible. If you do not wish to register or interact in such online media, our e-mail, redcardhomophobia[at]gmail[dot]com , is also available. Come to us with any doubt, suggestion or even critique. We’re open to all sorts of feedback!
And what about you?
Our only request is that if you really want to help us, then do it! Don’t go thinking you’re not qualified or that you are incapable of helping. If you can help with webdesign, we need you, if you have a twitter account, we need you, if you have a strong opinion and a will to blog it, we need you, if you are in a position where you can help us gain awareness and help us spread the word, we need you. A simple recommendation on tumblr or a FF on twitter could make all the difference. Simply adding #redcardhomophobia on your posts would be of great importance.
We need people to write on our blog!
We presume that if you followed this blog than it’s because you are against homophobia, be it in sports or not. At this precise moment, we have a strong need of people willing to share their opinions on our blog in order to keep the updates flowing. If you have a thoughtful opinion you would like to share and if you’re capable to put it in at least 250-300 words, think about lending your hand to our blog!
Maybe in your country you read news of a coach insulting a referee, maybe at a stadium you heard the fans chanting homophobic insults to a player. The greatest advantage of being an internet-based organization is that we have people all around the world, so why not share YOUR experience? How is homophobia in sports seen and dealt with in your country?
If you’d rather talk about something else, do it!
Send us your questions, send us your thoughts! We can’t stay silent, we’re here to make a difference.
Uefa urged to take action over Vlatko Markovic’s claim that there is no room for gay players in the game
Gay and lesbian groups across Europe have called on sporting authorities to take disciplinary action against the head of Croatia’s football federation after he said gay players would be banned from playing for the country.
Vlatko Markovic served to emphasise the extent to which homophobia is still rife in the sport after saying that “only healthy people play football” and adding that there was no room for gay men in the sport.
Politicians, pop stars and artists coming out of the closet hardly raise eyebrows in Germany. But it’s an entirely different ballgame on the soccer field, where being openly gay remains strictly taboo.
German professional soccer hasn’t seen a gay player to date. At least not officially. That isn’t because there aren’t any, but because they’ve decided keeping their sexuality hidden is preferable to the career-ending scorn, ridicule and even physical danger they would face if they came out of the closet.
That was the bottom line of a cover story by the popular German soccer magazine RUND last month which interviewed players who kept their homosexuality tightly under wraps.
“Soccer is still unbelievably backward when it comes to homosexuality. Gays on the pitch remain a huge taboo,” said Rainer Schäfer, chief editor at RUND, who spent two years researching the topic and winning the trust of two gay players in the two highest German soccer leagues. They eventually agreed to tell their stories provided they remained anonymous.
JOHN HILL meets an ex-footballer whose early awareness of racism has driven his opposition to intolerance in all of its guises
FORMER Sunderland midfielder Kieron Brady remembers having an anti-racist mindset long before he became an active campaigner for equality and diversity.
”While his football career ended four short years after he first turned up on Wearside, Brady has now forged a new place for himself trying to eradicate racism and discrimination. He spent four years with Show Racism the Red Card, delivering workshops across the North England, and as the founder of Sunderland organisation Celebrate Identity Challenge Intolerance he works with schools and businesses to rail against what he calls the “bigotry of birth”
He says: “The activities and exercises we use are designed to highlight the futility of racism and show there’s no basis or justification for harbouring hostility for someone who is a different colour or comes from a different postcode to you. To have such a dislike for someone due to something out of their control doesn’t make any sense and is completely unacceptable.
He said: “I think if people were prepared to scrutinise the coverage, especially aimed at the Muslim community, it would be very difficult to argue there wasn’t some sort of systematic agenda. About 90% of coverage of the Muslim community is negative. If people are willing to accept this as truth, it filters down to the sons and daughters. No one would like to see the stifling of the free press, but it would be far more advantageous if there was more of an awareness of social responsibility.
“Some newspapers are very adept at being able to sustain an agenda without actually being in breach of any legislation. What I would hope for is a preparedness among individuals, organisations and equality groups to come out and lambast these newspapers and their agendas.”CICI hopes to get more involved in professional sport in future, as Brady describes sports teams as “extremely diverse workplaces”. Among the issues that affect such workplaces is the attitude towards homosexuality, highlighted last year when publicist Max Clifford admitted he advised two Premier League footballers not to come out because football “remains in the dark ages, steeped in homophobia”.
Brady says: “It’s been described as football’s last taboo. The three areas a footballer would have to consider would be the reaction of people in his place of work, the effect on his existence outside work and the reaction he would get on a Saturday afternoon.
“If one professional footballer felt it was something he wanted to do, and he would have every right to say he didn’t want to hide it any more, it may encourage others to do so. A great victory could be had against homophobia, but it may take an individual to suffer abuse for that to happen. A lot would depend on the response of the football authorities and the individual club and the supporters in treating abuse of someone’s sexuality as something that’s just as unacceptable as racism.
“There always seems to be a target group perceived as fair game. Challenging racism only has credibility if you’re prepared to tackle all forms of discrimination and abuse.”
The latest in what is becoming a mini-trend — closeted jocks blogging — has a new and worthy entrant, One in Eleven, Thoughts of a Gay Footballer Exposed. (…) The author, Craig, is a semipro soccer player in England, who has hopes of one day turning pro. His writing is both funny and poignant.
Ah, yes, the closet. Craig is deep inside and has no plans to come out anytime soon (because of soccer and because of his family). But it does drive him to torment, as in this beautifully written segment:
So what do you do when you see a ridiculously cute guy on the bus? I saw him as I got on and almost forgot to show the driver my ticket. He was exactly my type, black hair, an angelic face, and athletic body, he gave me a beautiful smile as I sat across from him. I couldn’t stop stealing glances at him and each time I did he was smiling back at me.
So what did I do?
Got off at my stop, without saying anything to him. This is what the closet does to me. I don’t know what to do. Some days I feel like my youth is slipping away from me and I’m missing so many opportunities. On the other hand I know my life would be hell if I came out now and I don’t know if I’d be able to handle it.
Being in the closet is ok until you realise what your missing, and that happened big time today. Someday soon everyone will know and I’ll be free at last.
As my favorite NFL player Chad “ochocinco” Johnson said…
“It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you are not.”
I could go on since he is such a talented writer and touches on a lot of areas, sports-related and not. It’s a rare man who can make a post about food and his love of ketchup interesting. I have become a fan and hope he keeps writing and finds what he is looking for in life.
Disclaimer: As in all these stories about blogs by closeted jocks, I do not know who Craig is. But I have exchanged enough e-mails with him to believe that his story rings true.
(…) Halil Ibrahim Dincdag, maintains he was let go because of his homosexuality, and he is challenging the Turkish Football Federation’s decision in a local court.
“They thought I was an ant that they could crush, they thought I would run away and hide in a corner, (…) But they have destroyed my life and I will fight them to the end, all the way to Europe if I have to.”
A 33-year old (…) Dincdag had been refereeing in the local league for 13 years when he was informed in May that his license would not be renewed. Two days after he complained to the Football Federation about his dismissal, stories about him began appearing in the national press.
Sacked by the local radio station where he worked and forced to flee to Istanbul to spare his family from a media feeding frenzy, he decided to appear on a popular sports program. His face hidden at first, Dincdag, who until then had been referred to only by his initials, came out publicly.
(…) Dincdag’s television appearance was an act of considerable courage. Unlike in some other Muslim countries, homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, but homophobia is widespread, and nowhere more so than in the ultra-masculine world of football.
“The crowds shout ‘fag’ at referees whose decisions they don’t like,” Dincdag says. “Well, here I am.”
In an interview to one of his state’s biggest newspapers, the Santos player, Paulo Henrique Ganso stated that there are gays in football, but that “thank god”, not in his club.
“In some clubs sure, there are. But not in Santos, thank God, no”, said the player.
The reporter questioned “How do you know there aren’t any?”. “Well, because I work there and we know everything” he answered.
Read the new article posted on RCH Wordpress concerning the death of Eudy Simelane, a football player who was a victim of a ‘corrective rape’.
Approximately 30 well-known players from the Australian Football League have joined a campaign against homophobia to be launched in May, The Age reports:
“The ‘inclusion and diversity’ campaign boasts some of the biggest names in football, including Neil Balme, Joel Selwood and Brownlow medallists Jimmy Bartel and Adam Goodes…The sportsmen and coaches have been photographed holding handwritten signs calling for acceptance and understanding of homosexuals. Adelaide player Brett Burton is pictured with a placard that says: ‘We all have our little differences - celebrate them!’ Geelong football manager Neil Balme’s reads: ‘Homophobic His-story!’ Bulldogs ruckman Will Minson wrote in ‘Nil bastardum carborundum’, which is mock-Latin for ‘don’t let the bastards grind you down’…The Players’ Association says footballers know how it feels to suffer negative stereotyping and want to help another group of maligned individuals. Though not scheduled to be launched until closer to the International Day Against Homophobia Day, held annually on May 17, the project is already considered a success because so many players and coaches are involved.”
Check out some of the players’ photos here.