Jurgen Klopp calls on Liverpool fans to stop singing homophobic chant
Klopp slams homophobic chant and calls for change
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has called time on the homophobic chant sung by (a minority of) Liverpool fans towards Chelsea fans and players, saying "I don't want to hear it anymore". Klopp sat down with Kop Outs founder Paul Amann on Thursday to discuss the prevalence of casual homophobia in football and his unique outlook as a manager
For context, the chant in question, 'Chelsea rent boy', originates from a Chelsea Headhunter who was seen in bed with a male sex worker. Since then, 'Chelsea rent boy' has been but a single bullet in a wider arsenal of casual homophobia prevalent in football culture.
Jürgen Klopp met with @LFC_LGBT this week to discuss the incident of homophobic chanting at Norwich City.
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
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 19, 2021
"I’ve got too many LGBT+ friends who have expressed discomfort at being at the match or don’t want to go to the match because they are scared they might be left feeling uncomfortable," explained Amann who founded Kop Outs to address the presence of homophobia within the football community.
"I never understand that, why you would sing a song that is against something in a football stadium?" Klopp questioned.
"I never got that. I never liked it and I don’t like this. Especially in our case."
Amann continued: "There are times when you want to get under the skin of your fellow fans on the opposite side, but you do that through cleverness and wit, which is what we’re renowned for."
The chant is offensive and inappropriate - a message we have repeatedly communicated alongside Kop Outs.
We urge supporters to remember the inclusive values of the club and to refrain from using it in the future. https://t.co/67Q5SKoa88
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 14, 2021
"No. Actually, I think it’s easy – it’s easy to decide not singing the song anymore," Klopp replied.
The 54-year-old manager then says that players rarely even register what fans are singing, presumably because they are so focused on the game at hand. "But that’s the problem: most of the time we don’t understand."
"It’s definitely a waste of time because we don’t listen. I hear in the stadium when they start singing Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah, You’ll Never Walk Alone obviously, all this kind of stuff.
"That gives you goosebumps, that gives you a push. The other songs are a complete waste of time. If you think what you sing: you are an idiot. If you don’t think about what you sang in that situation: it’s just a waste of time, forget it and go for another song.
"So, we can decide now: this is not our song anymore. 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," Klopp concluded defiantly.
Di Cunningham, an organiser with Proud Canaries, Norwich's official LGBT+ fan group, spoke to JOE's Rueben Pinder on the topic.
"There is a whole host of issues that still need addressing in football," she said.
"Just because fans are starting to feel comfortable, it doesn't mean that it's all sorted."
Homophobia in football, casual or not, is still engrained into football chants, bravado, and fan behaviour. Though moves for inclusion have undoubtedly shifted the culture of football, there is still an inherent need to address the overlapping of social issues and football values.
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