Gareth Thomas v Homophobia: Hate in the Beautiful Game

Gareth Thomas v Homophobia: Hate in the Beautiful Game
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Review

Why is homophobia so widespread in football? Why are terraces and locker rooms so much less tolerant than the rest of society? In this excellent doc (first shown on BBC Wales), former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas looks for answers. He came out ten years ago and was accepted by rugby fans and sponsors. Meanwhile in football, of the 5,000 male professional players in the UK, not one is openly gay.

That may be something to do with the terrace chants (“Does your boyfriend know you’re here?”) and online abuse that greet the very idea of homosexuality. Thomas talks to the game’s administrators – and their responses are, to put it kindly, hopeless.

Summary

Fifty years since homosexual acts between consenting male adults were decriminalised, former Wales and Lions rugby union captain Gareth `Alfie' Thomas takes a personal look at what he sees as the last bastion of open homophobia in sport - professional football. Only one professional male player, Justin Fashanu, has come out while playing the game. He killed himself in 1998. What is preventing gay footballers from coming out? Gareth meets players, fans and managers in a bid to find out.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Gareth Thomas
Executive Producer Martyn Ingram
Producer Sara Allen
Series Producer Ian Durham
Documentary