Liverpool slams ‘offensive’ homophobic chants calling Billy Gilmour a ‘rent boy’

Billy Gilmour of Norwich City during the pre season friendly between Norwich City and Gillingham at Carrow Road

British football club Liverpool has condemned the “offensive and inappropriate” homophobic chants targeting Norwich City midfield Billy Gilmour.

During Saturday’s (14 August) Premier League match at Carrow Road, the Scottish player was cruelly mocked by fans, due to Chelsea being his parent club.

Barking from the stands, the audience members began shouting “Chelsea rent boy” at the 20-year-old – a barbed jab that for decades has been used against Chelsea players and fans.

The chant was called out on Twitter by Kop Outs!, Liverpool FC’s LGBT+ fan group. “Great result today marred by homophobic chanting by some of our fans targeting Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour,” its statement read.

“If you can’t support without resorting to bigoted nonsense, you don’t understand [Liverpool FC anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’].”

Liverpool FC urges fans to ‘refrain’ from using homophobic chants

This was amplified by Liverpool FC’s official account, which tweeted after the game: “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.”

Chelsea Pride, the team’s LGBT+ affiliate, added to the chorus of condemnation against “this and all homophobic behaviour”.

“We will continue to work with clubs and authorities across the game to ensure homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are kicked out of the game,” the group tweeted.

“There’s no place for hate in football.”

Kick It Out, which works to combat racism, homophobia and discrimination in football, has previously condemned the chant, tweeting in 2019: “The ‘rent boy’ chants have been directed at Chelsea for years, with little action taken by The Football Association or police – and that must not continue.

“We are absolutely clear: the chant is homophobic and must be treated as such.”
The group released a damning report the year prior warning that hate incidents have risen dramatically year on year.

Across the 2017/18 season, there were 111 reports of homophobic abuse around football matches – a nine per cent increase from the previous season.