I once used disgusting anti-gay language, admits former Professional Football Association chair

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Former Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle says he’s ashamed for previously using homophobic language.

The 34-year-old has taken part in a BBC Radio 5 Live special programme about homophobia in football to be broadcast tonight at 9pm.

Carlisle, who previously played for Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers, said: “I’ve used the language that now I would be really disgusted to hear.

“I used it really flippantly, maybe thinking it was banter.”

He added: “But it was only by awareness and interaction and actually understanding the effect and power of the words that I was using on someone who is homosexual that I got an understanding and started to address my base-level language use.

“That progressed to being able to be in a dressing room over the last three years of my career and actually being able to challenge others.”

Sue Ravenlaw, the Football Association’s head of equality, was also interview for the 5 Live special.

She said the FA had been making significant progress in tackling homophobia.

In January, ex-footballer Michael Johnson resigned as an equality advisor to the FA, after it was revealed in 2012 he had described gay people as “detestable”.

Writing for PinkNews.co.uk, LGBT rights campaigner Adrian Tippetts said it showed the FA continues to face hurdles in building trust with LGBT people.