Bolton Wanderers earn praise for how they dealt with homophobic Manchester United fan
We all love to take the piss out of Manchester United for their long and varied list of official partners.
Every few weeks we hear about a new money-spinning corporate sponsor - from official tyre manufacturers to noodle partners - willing to swell the Old Trafford coffers with millions of pounds worth of revenue. In fact, some of the weird and wonderful deals are beyond parody.
But on Tuesday the club earned a huge amount of praise and respect for becoming the first UK football club to partner with leading LGBT equality charity Stonewall.
The ground-breaking initiative will see United work alongside Stonewall to help to tackle LGBT issues in sport and society, whilst looking at best practice and ways in which inclusion and equality can be improved in football. They'll also become an official member of TeamPride.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 7, 2017
A great initiative we're sure you'll agree. Much of the response to the announcement was extremely positive and encouraging...
Well done Man U. A sentence I never thought I'd write.
— chrislintott (@chrislintott) March 7, 2017
well done Manchester United. The only time I'll say that as a city fan 😝👍🏼💙
— steph 🌹#votelabour (@sigmundsteph) March 7, 2017
This is class. Good stuff.
— Jake. (@YedIin) March 7, 2017
from an open LGBT since the age of 13, this is brilliant guys! Thank you. 💖🏳️🌈
— Drico ⭐️🔥 (@DricoMonster) March 7, 2017
Sadly, not all of the replies were so enthusiastic. There were an alarming number of negative and homophobic messages that only served to highlight why Stonewall's work is more vital than ever, and such partnerships should be applauded.
One particular responder replied with the homophobic statement: 'I'd rather support Bolton Wanderers than a club that endorses immorality without considering the fans'
I'd rather support Bolton Wanderers than a club that endorses immorality without considering the fans
— Certified Shooter (@Fortunefilmzng) March 7, 2017
Bolton's official account got wind of the comment and had the perfect reply. It was simple, to the point, and outstanding: 'We'd rather you didn't. #TeamStonewall'...
— Bolton Wanderers FC (@OfficialBWFC) March 7, 2017
This was met with huge and enthusiastic praise. Well done Manchester United - and Bolton Wanderers...
— arseblog (@arseblog) March 7, 2017
— Tom furness (@Tomfurness2) March 7, 2017
— Tom [PositiveLad] 🇪🇺 🏳️🌈 (@PositiveLad) March 7, 2017
Proud to be a Wanderers fan tonight! 👏👏👏👏👏
— Darren Dee #WAMC 👀 (@Hound_Pig) March 7, 2017
— Damon Hesford (@damonbwfc) March 7, 2017
— Connor Davidson (@Connor_bwfc98) March 7, 2017