‘Chelsea rent boys’ football chant accused of homophobia amid World Cup furore

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Football chants dubbed homophobic by some were widely reported at this summer’s World Cup, but similar chants have been heard in the UK for decades without attracting any attention.

At this summer’s World Cup, chants of “puto” (male prostitute) rung out, mainly from fans of Brazil and Mexico. FIFA have let the chants go unpunished and were criticised for their leniency by LGBT rights groups who called the chants homophobic.

A very similar chant, however, has been common in the Premier League for decades without attracting the same media attention.

The “Chelsea rent boys” song is rumored to have originated in the 1980s after newspapers reported that, in a dawn raid by police, a Chelsea hooligan was found in bed with a male prostitute (known in Britain as a “rent boy”).

Rival fans of Chelsea football club then adapted the Chelsea Headhunters (a notorious hooligan firm) threatening song “Chelsea aggro” to “Chelsea rent boys” and the song is still sometimes sung at matches. According to some Chelsea fans, it has even become more popular since the late 1990s.

YouTube contains hundreds of videos of the chant, usually directed at an individual player.

Despite the FA claiming to have made progress in tackling homophobia in football, there has been no action taken against clubs whose fans sing the song.

Chelsea fans claim the song is sung predominately by teams from Liverpool and Manchester and footage on Youtube seems to back this up.

Tim Rolls, is the chair of the Chelsea Supporters Trust and said he has reported the chants to stewards at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium and Liverpool’s Anfield stadium.

“At the former,” he said, “they just laughed and, at the latter, I was told that the stewards in our section were policing us, not Liverpool supporters, and that if I persisted in complaining I would be ejected from the ground.”

“I am not aware of stewards taking action against the chants at any ground.”

Chris Taylor is a Manchester United fan who used to sing the song.

“I used to sing it in the late 1990s. It always got an airing at Old Trafford. I didn’t even think about the meaning behind it, I just sang it because everyone else did,” he said. “Then I grew up. It’s a horrible song,”

Other Manchester United fans have defended the chant on forums.

One claims that the chant is directed against Chelsea for two reasons. Firstly, because the nearby Earl’s Court area of London is apparently a “notorious pick-up area for rent boys”. Secondly because, since Roman Abramovich bought and invested heavily in Chelsea, their players are seen as mercenaries who will do anything for money.

Supporters of Everton Football Club, which is based in the city of Liverpool, have also been filmed singing the song.

Jorge Rodrigues, the chair of Everton’s LGBT supporters group “the Rainbow Toffees”, said: “The Chelsea rent boys chant is homophobic. This kind of banter is a problem and needs to be eradicated.”

However, he continued to say that Everton is very welcoming of LGBT fans and the chant comes from extreme elements of the clubs fanbase.

He compared the “rent boy” chants to the “Liverpool slums” song Everton and Liverpool supporters have been subjected to for years.

A spokesperson for the Gay Football Supporters Federation advised supporters to report the chant if they hear it.

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US: Retired United Methodist minister sets himself on fire to protest against racism, homophobia

Reverend Charles Moore committed suicide a few weeks before his 80th birthday. Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics Gay rightsChristianTexassuicideracismequal rightsCivil RightsmethodistReverend Charles Mooreself-immolationanti-homophobia protest Share on WhatsApp 14 reader comments

Family and colleagues of a retired United Methodist minister who set himself on fire to protest against racism and homophobia have spoken about his life-long fight for equal rights.

The Rev. Charles Moore, 79, committed suicide on 23 June, having driven across Texas to his childhood home of Grand Saline, before dousing himself with gasoline and lighting himself on fire.

Moore chose Grand Saline for the negative memories it held of racism and prejudice, and particular of lynching, which he witnessed as a boy.

Although he spent much of his early life fighting racial segregation, in later life he directed his attention first against the death penalty and then to combating prejudice within the Methodist church against gays and lesbians.

In the 1990s, he took an active role in encouraging gay Christians to join his own congregation, and in challenging the prejudices of an aging church-going population for whom religious condemnation of homosexuality was the norm. He promoted gay members to leadership positions within his church.

A colleague, the Rev. Sid Hall, described Moore as having

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Chris Kluwe threatens to take Vikings to court, after refusal to release report into homophobia

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Outspoken advocate of gay rights and retired NFL star, Chris Kluwe, will take his former team to court, after it reneged on promises to release the findings of an investigation into whether his dismissal last year was due to his support for the LGBT community.

Kluwe starred as a punter for the Minnesota Vikings from 2005 to 2012. He is an outspoken advocate of gay rights and particularly of gay marriage, and has previously stated that he supports the gay community simply because

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US: MLB will address homophobia in baseball during the All-Star Game

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Major League Baseball will recognize Glenn Burke as baseball’s gay pioneer in an effort to dramatically shift their ability to combat homophobia and help gay players, coaches and staff in the league.

Glenn Burke, who died 20 years ago of AIDS, was the first ever MLB player to come out as gay while still playing professional baseball in 1982 making him one of the LGBT trailblazers in sports.

MLB commissioner, Bud Selig will hold a news conference with Burke’s sister, Lutha Burke and formerly gay ex-ballplayer, Billy Bean before the All-Star game at Target Field in Minneapolis this evening.

MLB continues to make strides to combat homophobia amongst players and throughout the league.

While there are currently no openly gay players in the league, the MLB is elevating the level of discourse in order to create a safer and more inclusive environment for players to publicly come out.

In the last three years, all six of the big pro sports leagues in the United States have taken positive steps toward ending homophobia.

Just last year, MLB adopted a new workplace code of conduct that protects players and staff from anti-LGBT harassment.

MLB commissioner, Bud Selig, stated: “We welcome all individuals regardless of sexual orientation into our ballparks, along with those of different races, religions, genders and national origins.”

In 2011, MLB added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy as part of their labor deal with the players union. Players cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin and now sexual orientation as well.

In 2012, Kevin McClatchy, 49, former owner and CEO of an MLB team in Pittsburgh, came out as gay, in a New York Times article saying that homophobic slurs meant that he kept his sexuality a secret in the past.

McClatchy said:

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu: God weeps when he witnesses homophobia

Archbishop Tutu is a vocal supporter of LGBT rights. Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Share on WhatsApp 3 reader comments

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said that he “didn’t choose” to become a defender of gay rights, but that God urges people to “live amicably” and reject homophobia.

Archbishop Tutu, 82, has previously compared anti-gay laws to the Apartheid discrimination in South Africa which he fought to bring to an end.

Asked by Ann Curry of NBC News why he chose the issue of gay rights as the basis for his campaigning, he answered:

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Peter Tatchell: David Cameron should speak out about homophobia before Commonwealth Games

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Peter Tatchell has called on David Cameron to speak out about homophobia in the Commonwealth, ahead of the Commonwealth Games next week.

A rally will be held outside Downing Street on Wednesday, organised by African LGBTI Out & Proud Diamond Group, and supported by the Peter Tatchell Foundation, to protest continuing anti-gay laws.

42 of the 53 Commonwealth member countries currently criminalise homosexuality, with penalties up to life imprisonment in at least seven member states.

Tatchell said: “We are appealing to Prime Minister David Cameron to speak out against homophobia and transphobia in the Commonwealth in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games.

“We also want him to express his public support for Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games Federation constitution, which prohibits any form of discrimination – including discrimination in athlete selection for the national teams.

“Given the extreme homophobia and transphobia in most Commonwealth countries, it is very unlikely that most national selection committees would allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or inter-sex (LGBTI) athlete to compete at Glasgow.

“David Cameron can help by making clear that such discrimination is incompatible with Commonwealth Games values and rules.

“We want the Prime Minister to give a lead and set a positive tone by publicly declaring that anti-LGBT persecution is a violation of the Commonwealth Charter and that LGBTI athletes will be welcome in Glasgow.

“He should make clear that the UK government is willing to give asylum to LGBTI athletes who are at risk of victimisation in their county of origin.”

Edwin Sesange of the Diamond Group said: “Far from moving towards equality, we have seen many Commonwealth countries witch-hunt their LGBTI citizens and even tougher anti-gay laws have been recently legislated in countries like Uganda, Brunei and Nigeria.

“Britain imposed most of the existing anti-gay laws in Commonwealth nations when it was the colonial power in the nineteenth century. Homosexuality was not illegal in these countries prior to British colonisation.

“Britain has been part of the problem. Therefore it should be part of the solution by challenging homophobia and transphobia in the Commonwealth. David Cameron should show leadership by taking a stand against the victimisation of LGBTI people and promoting the universal human rights values of the Commonwealth Charter.”

The Commonwealth Games begin next Wednesday, July 23.

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Football v Homophobia tournament to take place at University of Nottingham

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This Saturday will see 20 teams meet for the annual Football v Homophobia tournament at the University of Nottingham.

The tournament will be joined by Arsenal and England striker Kelly Smith, who will give awards at this event.

It will take place at the University Park Sports Centre, and is organised by the University’s LGBTQ staff network.

Claire Henson, the University’s Equality and Diversity Events Co-ordinator, said: “The tournament is now an important part of the University of Nottingham Equality and Diversity events programme and we are proud to have supported this event for the last five years.”

FvH is endorsed and supported by The Football Association, Premier League, Football League, League Managers Association and Kick It Out. FvH enables people to take action against prejudice and discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity in football, and to celebrate and welcome diversity in the game.

The opening ceremony begins at 10.30am on Saturday, with the tournament kicking off at 11am. The closing ceremony is at 4.45pm.

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