Disablist language at football matches - have you experienced this? — Scope | Disability forum
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Disablist language at football matches - have you experienced this?

Scope_PhilMarsh Member Posts: 12 Courageous
Hi everyone!

Everyone loves watching a game of footie however, we've heard stories of offensive and disablist language being thrown around in the stands.

Have you ever experienced this? Has negative language about disability at a football match offended you? We'd love to hear from disabled people about this issue.

Just leave a comment below or email us at [email protected] 

Many thanks,


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,674 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Scope_PhilMarsh I am not a football fan but all my family are, they say that racist abuse used to happen on a weekly basis but seems to be improving massively.

    What a terrible thing to be hearing disableist language at footy matches!! 

    @GoaaalsLTD @Chaddypark @ibartlett @Nystagmite @Joe_Mckechnie123 @BJMing @Martin Emery @Blue Frog do any of you guys have any experience of this?

    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,674 Disability Gamechanger
    @kenny you mentioned you go to the footy, have you ever experienced hearing disableist abuse?
    Senior online community officer
  • jax
    jax Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I'm a season ticket holder and go to home games at Brighton and hove Albion. (We are on our way!) I have never heard anything like that there.
    Have heard homophobic abuse from the charlton fans. That was aimed at Brighton players and fans.
  • Blue Frog
    Blue Frog Member Posts: 358 Pioneering
    I've moved stands since I had my little girl, so we are away from a lot of the chaos now. Sometimes my 4 year old is the loudest person in the family stand!!!!!

    Generally football fans are alright, we make fun of absolutely everyone and have a laugh but it very rarely crosses the line into abuse. Even before I moved, and I was one seat away from the away fans, there wasn't much that wasn't just very funny banter. 

    But you do get a few people who seem to think it's ok to use terms about intellectual disability and visual impairment as insults (especially towards the ref which doesn't make it ok!) but those same people are often lovely when you see them on the concourse; opening doors and moving out the way for us etc. Have never got my head round that. 

    There is hardly any racist/homophobic abuse now - and when I am there the sexism isnt too bad. I sometimes wonder if the people who enjoy shouting abuse have just changed the topic as they know they won't be ejected.

    But, saying that I haven't found it to be a major problem for us, and as a family affected by disability we love the football and are very proud that my little girl's first word was Yaya ❤️

  • bendigedig
    bendigedig Member Posts: 254 Pioneering
    @Scope_PhilMarsh @Sam_Scope

    Football is and always has been a brittish working mans game.   Its only in recent history that that has changed.

    Times change.  The audience and fan base of football is changing.  Unfortunately the average young working man who likes a few bevvies and joins his tribe at "the match" for a good old venting of the spleen Is still a part of our football culture.

    There are still club based crews that go to matches specifically for violence.  nothing like it used to be of course but what does that say?

    Sad but true.  Football stadiums are places to hear language and behaviour of colour.  All the unpleasent aspects of male "tribal mentality". Can be seen at a football stadium.

    I've worked in heavy industry and mixed with lads who "follow their teams".  not everybody uses inapropriate, offensive language but there are always going to be an ellement that do.

    It would be difficult if not impossible for a club to police and regulate such infractions.  That doesnt mean that they shouldnt challenge the phenomenon though.

    A wider diversity of matchgoers necessitates an apropriate level of response of a club in its duty of care to all its spectating customers.

    Football grounds have often sadly been the best places to see people at there worst.  Im pleased to hear from those that go that things are changing.  I'd like to take my son one day.


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