December 9, 2022

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A clear message to gay footballers

A clear message to gay footballers

– Stories about physical threats were real not so long ago. Slowly but surely, I think it is more time for a change now.

Football head Liz Clavins took the time to meet Dagbladet, with whom she wants to talk about homosexuality in football. She thinks there will be room for a gay footballer in the Norwegian capital.

Because – as of today – no one has come forward and told something like that.

Dagbladet investigated the cause. In a survey sent to players in the Men’s Elite Series, Division One and Two, 23 percent responded that they had experienced harassment or bullying related to sexual orientation in football, or had seen a teammate reciprocated.

None of the hundreds of respondents answered that they were gay. Only so few answers that they think her teammate is cranky.

Klaveness believes that many gays may find it very difficult to take a step towards the top of football.

– In addition to being young, you are also in an environment where you feel a little lonely. Then I think some people go bald early. They resigned for various reasons. The word homo, which is probably only meant as a joke, hits hard.

I don’t know: Football head Liz Clavins thinks it’s time for gay role models in major football, but it’s hard to answer why there aren’t any yet. Photo: Shad Madian / Dagbladet
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better now

Of the top players asked, 75 percent answered that there is room for being an outsider in the team, despite the fact that the excitement is still there in the dressing rooms, according to them.

Klaveness thinks it would have taken something completely different to stand five or ten years ago, than she thinks it would now.

She hopes and believes the football community has supported and cheered the person who made the move out of the closet – something that may not have happened before.

– Several years ago, an openly gay player could have backfired in terms of greater acceptance, in many cases. People weren’t ready, we hadn’t come very far when it came to the attitude building business. Clavins says it’s a job we in the FA are a part of, but it obviously also falls to the clubs.

30 percent of the top players on the men’s team answered that the association does enough to facilitate heterogeneous soccer players. 22% answered in the negative and the rest do not know.

We have to accept that in men’s football there is work to be done. Nobody in the union is forbidding anything, but we haven’t broken the code when it comes to male gays. We lack role models there.

At the same time, Clavens points to the nature of the best football to explain why no top Norwegian players have progressed.

She believes that football has been categorized as a male sport, and as a working-class sport signed by the patriarchy. At the same time, stereotypical homosexuality is believed to be the opposite, says Clavins.

– This is a mistake. In football, many traditionally masculine traits are needed, but if you look at the other side, it requires a tremendous amount of team spirit, resilience, friendship and care. After all, football is basically a smart game. for artists. The soccer ball accommodates girls, boys, women, men, girls, boys, men, women, men and women. Often a little bit of everything, you switch up all the time.

She thinks about it a bit.

It’s no fun being called a man’s lady when you’re gay as a woman too.

– Has this happened to you?

– I think this happened to a lot of female footballers. Because of the coding you mentioned. But it is different now. in Norway. It goes the other way in many other places, unfortunately.

Speaker: Liz Clavins addressed the Qatari World Cup organizers before the FIFA Congress in Doha in March.  Here she leaves the stage after making an appeal about the failure of human rights in the host country.  Photo: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Speaker: Liz Clavins addressed the Qatari World Cup organizers before the FIFA Congress in Doha in March. Here she leaves the stage after making an appeal about the failure of human rights in the host country. Photo: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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Roper’s plan

Clavens believes the situation is going the right way in Norway. She believes this is due to strong voices, both in the supportive community and in clubs, as well as international movements.

When the chief of football is asked what more can be done on the official side, he reveals something very simple:

She has now held talks with representatives from the LGBT community, with the goal of developing a new action plan for homosexuality in top football.

The supportive community believes that there is too much talk and too little action, Clavins might say.

– and I agree with that, I’m interested in getting more specific, and knowing what can actually help. We need a specific action plan. We need to get away from the campaigns and talk about it.

– What do you think a gay male player would have met today?

– He was met with love, care, and support, and people thought he was great. Perhaps there was some “management”. If it’s an important point of view in terms of value, it’s still worth it. Then you’d like to feel motivated and inspired by what you’re doing as well. The best thing, Clavins says, is to normalize things, and more people can stand together to fight.

– But someone has to take the first step. It will be good and it will turn out to be important. Whoever advances is not alone. He will stand on the shoulders of hundreds before him, who themselves have experienced difficulty. So this load is shared.

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