Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki
The Liverpool Football Club manager, Jurgen Klopp, has condemned the homophobic chanting of Liverpool supporters at the Norwich player, Billy Gilmour, during a game last weekend.
During Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Norwich on Saturday (14 August), fans chanted an offensive song at the Scottish player, who was making his debut for Norwich whilst on-loan from Chelsea.
The chants have already been criticised as offensive by Liverpool, as well as Paul Amann, the founder of the club’s LGBTQ fan base, Kop Outs.
“I don't want to hear it anymore”
Gilmour was called a 'Chelsea rent boy' - a remark commonly targeted at Chelsea players by rival club fans.
In a sit-down conversation with Amann, released on the Liverpool team’s social media, Klopp questioned why that kind of song would be sung.
"I never understand that, why you would sing a song that is against something in a football stadium. I never got that and I never liked it and I don't like this. In our case, we have probably the best songbook in the world.”
Klopp also said he would like people not to sing it anymore, but added, “I'm not sure if people listen to me but it would be nice. I don't want to hear it anymore for so many reasons.”
Jürgen Klopp met with @LFC_LGBT this week to discuss the incident of homophobic chanting at Norwich City.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 19, 2021
The pair discuss the impact of such chants on LGBT+ supporters, why they should not occur again, and the importance of inclusivity. #RedTogether pic.twitter.com/J5Axce1PqR
Earlier in the week, when speaking to Sky Sports, Amann had said it was “deeply disappointing” to hear fellow Liverpool fans engaging in such a horrendous chant. “You'll Never Walk Alone is an amazing anthem but to hear some of our own fans chanting in a way which leaves us feeling very alone is not on,” he told the broadcaster.
After the chants were initially called out by Kop Outs, their criticism was echoed by the Liverpool FC Twitter account, who described the chant as “offensive and inappropriate”, and urged fans to be inclusive.
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. https://t.co/McUxyjbQhw— Kop Outs! 🌈⚽🏳️🌈 (@LFC_LGBT) August 14, 2021
The Kop Outs' tweet also referenced a 2019 statement by campaign group Kick It Out which states: "The 'rent boy' chant has been directed at Chelsea for years, with little action taken by the FA or Police - and that must not continue.
"We are absolutely clear: the chant is homophobic and must be treated as such."
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