Tag Archives: homophobia

Football and the folly of the gay debate.

Young love. It's a wonderful thing.
Bromance… it’s a wonderful thing.

*I first posted the following blog in the spring of 2012, ironically, the same year that footballer Andre Gray posted the homophobic tweets which recently saw him spread across the sports pages.

You would hope that things would have changed in recent years but as we have seen with the Greg Clarke article that’s splashed across the media morning, that is far from the case.

Tragic doesn’t come close. Shameful does.
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As you may or may not know, Downing Street will today play host to a summit which will discuss, amongst other things, the issues of racism and homophobia.

Leaving aside the simple truth that I actually think our PM has more important things to be doing at the moment, the reason this summit is taking place is apparently to take a fresh look at both ‘problems’ in the face of recent events and, in the case of homophobia, in the wake of the BBC documentary which looked at the lack of any openly gay players in the professional game.

Now my views on racism at football are in black and white for all to see, be that on this very blog or in my book Kicking Off. Homophobia however, is something I have never really discussed before and there is a reason for that.

You see speaking as a football fan, it is my assertion that there isn’t actually a problem to address at the moment and nor will there be until such time as we have a player with the bottle to actually come out and admit to his sexuality. At that point things will change immediately because then the anti-homophobia campaign will have an actual focal point or to be blunt, a potential victim. As a result, then, and only then, will we know if we actually have a problem at all. Because at the moment, it is all supposition.

That is I know, a very simplistic way of looking at things but let’s face it, once inside the confines of a ground, football fans become fairly simplistic beings. All too often the concept of right and wrong is neutralised by raw emotion but as we saw with racism, when people eventually began to realise how futile and pathetic it was, it soon became so ingrained in their psyche that to even utter a racist term stopped occurring to all but the most rabid of morons. Indeed, far from knocking football for being racist we should be applauding it for driving the anti-racism message deep into the heart of British society.

I believe that exactly the same thing will happen with homophobia and I would argue, it will happen in a fairly short space of time if not immediately. After all, one only has to look at the TV to see how much has changed with regard to British societies acceptance of homosexuality in recent years.

Yet as the noises being made ahead of this summit clearly seem to prove, both the game and the authorities would like the great British public to believe that the second an openly gay player steps onto a field, the terraces will resound with cries of ‘they don’t like it up ‘em’ or ‘I’m free’ and the sight of fans mincing up and down behind the goals. Indeed the reason I sat down and wrote this very blog is because I have been so offended by some of the things I have been hearing this morning. How dare they accuse us, as citizens never mind supporters, of thinking like that!

The question of course, is why they are inferring such things and the answer, like most things to do with the great game, is fairly obvious. It’s a basic diversion tactic. Because if you point the finger of blame toward the fans, you don’t actually have to apportion any blame to yourselves.

Like it or not, if you are a pro-footballer be it at Old Trafford or Roots Hall, the nature of the beast is such that getting abuse from the terrace is going to be part and parcel of your career. Brutal though this might be, it is a fact and if you don’t like it or don’t think you will be able to take it, don’t do it. It really is as simple as that.

The key to dealing with that abuse is to understand why it happens and what it actually means because for the most part, it will only be coming at you from opposing fans who you are pissing off by doing a good job. And as long as you’re doing a good job, as recent history has proven only too well, your own supporters will not only forgive you anything but they will continue to heap adulation on you. Since they are the ones who ultimately pay your wages, they’re the only ones you really have to worry about.

However, if that grief comes not from the terraces but from your peers, especially your own team mates, it is something else entirely because it goes beyond banter from the crowd, it becomes personal. Anyone who has even been in a changing room knows that many of them are like a scene from Animal Farm (the George Orwell book, not the porn movie!) and anyone who shows even the remotest sign of being in any way different becomes fair game. Remember the stick Graham Le Saux used to get simply because he has a brain in his head? Much of that focussed on his supposed sexuality and let’s face it, if you were gay and saw that as a potential warning of things to come, why on earth would you want to put yourself at risk?

Of course not all players are like that and I’m sure that there are certain changing rooms which are delightful places to be post-training. But there are plenty which aren’t, especially if you’re not one of the towel-snapping, prank playing, tart shagging brigade and it is that ‘closed shop’ lad mentality which David Cameron and the various cronies and cling-ons should be discussing not the old chestnut of fears of abuse from the terraces.

But that will only happen when the game actually admits it has a problem in-house and we all know how reluctant it is to do that.

@dougiebrimson

football, soccer, comedy, cost of football, manchester united, liverpool, derby, watfordThanks to all those people who continue to keep both The Crew and Top Dog at the top of the various download charts. It really is humbling. Could I please ask that if you have read either book you leave a review of some kind as they are a great help both to me and to potential readers. And don’t forget, my latest comedy ebook Wings of a Sparrow is also available both in print and to download.

homophobia,gay,football,player,writing,blog,blogger 

 

Why Russia absolutely MUST host the 2018 World Cup.

I wrote the following blog a year ago but in light of events in France and the growing clamour to strip Russia of 2018, I thought it worth posting again. Because in my opinion, nothing russia, 2018, world cup, england, football, soccer, racism, fifia, uefa, blatter, homophobia, has changed.

Not surprisingly, in the wake of the furore surrounding FIFA, calls have been made to strip both Russia and Qatar of their respective world cups.

Whilst I totally agree with the logic in respect of Qatar, the idea of relocating 2018 even to England, fills me with horror. Yes, Blatter may be as bent as a nine bob note and yes, allegations that the bid was corrupt may well have a basis in fact, but to me the decision to stage the tournament in the motherland was always absolutely the correct one for one very simple reason.

One of the great strengths of the global game has always been the fight against discrimination in all its forms and by taking the World Cup to Russia, it underlines that message by providing an opportunity to not only bring about, but actually witness real change. That’s why we have to continue along that path because to do otherwise would be a massive mistake.

Now I know that will cause some angst in certain circles however, unlike the majority who will pontificate about this, I have actually been to Russia. Three times in fact.

Just as importantly, I’ve spent considerable amounts of time in the company of Russian football fans including those who are, shall we say, questionable. As a consequence, I have more than a passing knowledge of what makes these guys tick and that knowledge is based not on the ill-informed drivel that the British tabloids are prone to pumping out, but on actual experience. And one of the things I learned quite quickly is that Russian football culture is very different from what we are used to here.

That’s not to excuse the problems which infect the game there, many of which can legitimately be described as both racism and homophobia. But it is fair to say that racism in Russia is a very different animal from the beast we have here in the west and to treat the two in the same manner is a grave error.

More importantly, if the game in the motherland is ever to see an end to discrimination, the very last method of bringing it about would be via the use of any kind of blanket punishment because in my experience, nothing will cement public attitude faster than the western nations adopting a ‘holier-than-thou’ stance. Russia is many things, but fiercely patriotic stands head and shoulders above everything else.

Therefore, it is imperative that the tournament go ahead as planned because it provides the perfect platform for organisations such as FARE and Kick Racism to work with the Russian authorities and start actively promoting an anti-racism and anti-homophobia agenda.

Just as importantly, it will provide scope for that agenda to be taken to those who stand firmly at the very heart of the problem because the support of Russian footballs extremist support will be absolutely vital. That might sound like wishful thinking but in my experience, it is perfectly achievable as long as it is done in the correct manner. However, if that is to happen, work must begin sooner rather than later because it’s going to take time to build both mutual respect and trust.

Thankfully, we currently have the opportunity to do all of this which is why to give it up would be a tragedy. Not just for Russian football or for the entire Russian nation, but for everyone else. Lest we forget, football drove the anti-racism message into English society from the dark days of the 1970’s and there is nothing to suggest that exactly the same thing won’t happen in Russia on the back of 2018.

Is it really worth the risk of losing that chance?

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I’m delighted to tell you that my non-fiction book Rebellion is finally available as an ebook.

football, soccer, protest, hooligans, european elections, UKIP, top dog, green street, author, screenwriting, writingFirst published in 2006, it explores the background to some of the more infamous fan protests told by those who were right at the heart of things.

Amongst the clubs featured are Charlton, Wimbledon, Manchester United, Manchester City, Norwich and Bournemouth amongst many others.

I can also announce that my last novel, Wings of a Sparrow, may well be heading for TV as a four part comedy drama. Watch this space!

 

All of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes

russia, 2018, world cup, england, football, soccer, racism, fifia, uefa, blatter, homophobia, brimson, hooligans, hooliganism, violence

Boycott Russia? F**k that.

homophobia, russia, football, sex, epublishing, self-publishing, protest, gay

I am off to Russia next month. This is a statement of fact.

I’ve been invited by the organising committee of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival to talk at the inaugural programme of football films and will at the same time be doing some PR for the launch of the Russian language edition of Wings of a Sparrow. If you didn’t know, I sell more books in that great nation than I do in any other country bar the UK.

This will actually be my third visit and as someone who spent many of their formative years serving in a military which was totally focussed on the threat posed by the former Soviet Union, as a country it has a special and obvious significance. But it is I have to say, an amazing place primarily because of the wonderful Russian people.

However, back in my home country news of my impending visit has attracted some flak. Now the receipt of grief is not an unusual occurrence for me and usually, as someone who sits firmly in the ‘if they’re slagging you, at least they’re aware of you’ camp, negative comments are generally warmly welcomed but this time it’s different. This time it’s irritated me.

The reason for this most recent bout is because, according to some, I should have refused my invitation as a protest against the recently introduced laws banning the promotion of homosexuality in Russia. The fact that I didn’t apparently makes me a traitor to the industry I have somehow found myself working in and has even attracted inferences that I am homophobic.

I have no intention of defending myself against that accusation because I don’t have to. But what really grips me is the hypocrisy of some of those people throwing this bullshit in my direction. The bulk of whom are only throwing it because they know they’d never receive such an invitation in the first place and if they did, no doubt they’d bite off the hand which offered it and wouldn’t hesitate to do so.

And let’s take that a bit further. For if these people are so anti-Russia, can we expect them to protest outside the Bolshoi Ballet when it visits London or the Moscow State Circus when it next tours the UK? Similarly, will any of those struggling to make a living in the acting profession turn down a role in a movie which would involve filming in Russia or for that matter, a part in a movie written by the traitor Brimson? Would they bollocks.

And since they are so apparently keen on homosexual rights, why are they not encamped outside the Saudi embassy? Or for that matter, any of the many which represent nations which all but encourage the very worst kind of homophobia?

The fact they’re not kind of proves my point. If you want to talk the talk, walk the fucking walk.

I certainly have my opinions about what the Russian government have done and if I’m asked during my stay there, I will respond accordingly. But the bottom line for me is that it’s their country, not mine just as it is someone else’s fight, not mine.

And I’m certainly not going to miss out on a trip to a country I have come to love simply to appease people who in some cases have simply jumped on the back of Stephen Fry’s latest trendy cause.

.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysA couple of snippets to pass on: Aside from the aforementioned publication of Wings of a Sparrow in Russia, I’m thrilled to tell you that thanks to publishers Caffeine Nights, October will also see it published in print here in the UK. They will also be re-releasing The Crew and early next year, a very special movie-tie in edition of Top Dog.

I will release more details on that closer the time but you can pre-order Wings of a Sparrow here.

I’m also quite excited to let you know that within the next couple of weeks, details should be released regarding a new movie project I’ve been working on. This one is literally going to be old school and is going to take things in an entirely different direction. Filming is scheduled for Feb 2014 and if we can secure anywhere near our proposed cast, it’s going to be a genuine British epic!

As Top Dog rolls ever closer toward filming, could I please remind everyone that details regarding casting will be announced on both Facebook and Twitter when the time is right so please don’t mail me or anyone else involved with the project as we simply have nothing to tell you at the moment.

In addition, and without wishing to cause offence, with so many things on the go that my meagre brain is struggling to cope, I for one have no time to record details of anyone wanting to be considered and I’m certainly not going to remember you. Please… just keep your eye out!

Boycott Russia? F**k that.

homophobia, russia, football, sex, epublishing, self-publishing, protest, gay

I am off to Russia next month. This is a statement of fact.

I’ve been invited by the organising committee of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival to talk at the inaugural programme of football films and will at the same time be doing some PR for the launch of the Russian language edition of Wings of a Sparrow. If you didn’t know, I sell more books in that great nation than I do in any other country bar the UK.

This will actually be my third visit and as someone who spent many of their formative years serving in a military which was totally focussed on the threat posed by the former Soviet Union, as a country it has a special and obvious significance. But it is I have to say, an amazing place primarily because of the wonderful Russian people.

However, back in my home country news of my impending visit has attracted some flak. Now the receipt of grief is not an unusual occurrence for me and usually, as someone who sits firmly in the ‘if they’re slagging you, at least they’re aware of you’ camp, negative comments are generally warmly welcomed but this time it’s different. This time it’s irritated me.

The reason for this most recent bout is because, according to some, I should have refused my invitation as a protest against the recently introduced laws banning the promotion of homosexuality in Russia. The fact that I didn’t apparently makes me a traitor to the industry I have somehow found myself working in and has even attracted inferences that I am homophobic.

I have no intention of defending myself against that accusation because I don’t have to. But what really grips me is the hypocrisy of some of those people throwing this bullshit in my direction. The bulk of whom are only throwing it because they know they’d never receive such an invitation in the first place and if they did, no doubt they’d bite off the hand which offered it and wouldn’t hesitate to do so.

And let’s take that a bit further. For if these people are so anti-Russia, can we expect them to protest outside the Bolshoi Ballet when it visits London or the Moscow State Circus when it next tours the UK? Similarly, will any of those struggling to make a living in the acting profession turn down a role in a movie which would involve filming in Russia or for that matter, a part in a movie written by the traitor Brimson? Would they bollocks.

And since they are so apparently keen on homosexual rights, why are they not encamped outside the Saudi embassy? Or for that matter, any of the many which represent nations which all but encourage the very worst kind of homophobia?

The fact they’re not kind of proves my point. If you want to talk the talk, walk the fucking walk.

I certainly have my opinions about what the Russian government have done and if I’m asked during my stay there, I will respond accordingly. But the bottom line for me is that it’s their country, not mine just as it is someone else’s fight, not mine.

And I’m certainly not going to miss out on a trip to a country I have come to love simply to appease people who in some cases have simply jumped on the back of Stephen Fry’s latest trendy cause.

.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysA couple of snippets to pass on: Aside from the aforementioned publication of Wings of a Sparrow in Russia, I’m thrilled to tell you that thanks to publishers Caffeine Nights, October will also see it published in print here in the UK. They will also be re-releasing The Crew and early next year, a very special movie-tie in edition of Top Dog.

I will release more details on that closer the time but you can pre-order Wings of a Sparrow here.

I’m also quite excited to let you know that within the next couple of weeks, details should be released regarding a new movie project I’ve been working on. This one is literally going to be old school and is going to take things in an entirely different direction. Filming is scheduled for Feb 2014 and if we can secure anywhere near our proposed cast, it’s going to be a genuine British epic!

As Top Dog rolls ever closer toward filming, could I please remind everyone that details regarding casting will be announced on both Facebook and Twitter when the time is right so please don’t mail me or anyone else involved with the project as we simply have nothing to tell you at the moment.

In addition, and without wishing to cause offence, with so many things on the go that my meagre brain is struggling to cope, I for one have no time to record details of anyone wanting to be considered and I’m certainly not going to remember you. Please… just keep your eye out!