Two Derby County football fans punished with three year ban for homophobic chanting

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

Two Derby County football fans have been banned from attending matches for three years, as well as fined, after they admitted shouting homophobic chants at Brighton supporters during an away game last month.

ITV reports Shane Davies, 25 and Daniel Davies, 20, were arrested August 10 following a match at the Amex Stadium in Brighton.

It is the first banning order for a Derby County fan in connection with homophobic abuse.

Last month, a new police policy for tackling homophobic abuse by football supporters was set out, which names homophobia as the last major form of discrimination at football matches.

BBC Newsbeat asked its followers whether bans for football fans who use homophobic language is an “overreaction”, and questions whether homophobic chants constitute “abuse”, or whether it is just “banter”.

In March, ex-Leeds player Robbie Rogers explained why coming out as gay meant he had to retire immediately as a professional footballer.

He said: “I was just fearful. I was very fearful how my teammates were going to react. Was it going to change them? Even though I’d still be the same person would it change the way they acted towards me – when we were in the dressing room or the bus?”

Hearing homophobic remarks and anti-gay jokes from his teammates often made Rogers feel uncomfortable. “That was when I would get this awful feeling in my stomach. I would turn my head and try to chat about other things. They often don’t mean what they say. It’s that pack mentality – they’re trying to get a laugh, they’re trying to be the top guy. But it’s brutal. It’s like high school again – on steroids.”

“Football is an amazing sport,” Rogers says. “But it is also a brutal sport that picks people up and slams them on their heads. Adding the gay aspect doesn’t make a great cocktail.”