The right to chant at soccer matches should be protected from heterophobic extremists
Debate Rounds (2)
They object to certain humorous soccer chants that are directed at players suspected of being gay, for example:
"He's queer, he's bent, his arse is up for rent! Ronaldo, Ronaldo!"
"Sol, Sol, wherever you may be, Not long now until lunacy, We won't give a f*ck if you are hanging from a tree, You are a Judas c*nt with HIV'
They are also opposed to chants which mock Brighton & Hove Albion supporters (Brighton has a large gay community), for example:
"Does your boyfriend know you're here, does your boyfriend know you're here?"
"You're just a town full of f*gg*ts, town full of f*gg*ts, you're just a town full of f*gg*ts!"
"We can see you holding hands, we can see you holding hands!"
"Up your arse, m'lord, up your arse, Up your arse, m'lord, up your arse. Oh m'lord, up your arse!"
"You soft Southern poofters, soft Southern poofters!"
"We drink cider, you suck c*ck!"
"You're queer and you know you are, you're queer and you know you are!"
"You only sing when you're bumming, sing when you're bumming, you only sing when you're bumming!"
"We want you, we want you, we want you and your boyfriend too!"
However certain heterophobic extremist groups such as Stonewall are campaigning hard to stop fans having a bit of a laugh at soccer matches by insisting the Football Association stop fans from singing comic songs that refer to homosexual gentlemen. Indeed, many fans have already beened banned from attending soccer matches, prosecuted in the courts, or both.
This campaign represents a wholly unwarranted interference with a perfectly lawful leisure activity and is unduly restrictive, punishing individuals for singing songs they can and do sing quite legally in the pub and I, therefore, affirm that humorous soccer chants should be protected from heterophobic extremists.
Much thanks to my opponent for posting this debate.
Since there are only two rounds, I will jump right into my counterargument.
To begin, I would like to provide a few clarifying definitions for some of the vocabulary used within my opponent's resolution.
Right: a claim recognized and delimited by law for the purpose of securing it; An abstract idea of that which is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature
Protected: A legal or other formal measure intended to preserve civil liberties and rights.
Hetrophobia: The non-existent supposed "fear and mistrust" of heterosexual people by LGBT people. It is a neologism and snarl word designed to delegitimize the gay rights movement, its campaign for equal treatment, and aim to end to anti-gay bigotry.
**This is the closest to a definition that I could find for Heterophobia. However, a more simple and objective definition may be a parallel to the definition of homophobia. By substituting "homosexuality" with "heterosexuality", Heterophobia would therefore be hypothetically defined as:
An extreme and irrational aversion to [heterosexuality] and [heterosexual] people.
Extremist: a person who favours or resorts to immoderate, uncompromising, or fanatical methods or behaviour, esp in being politically radical
Disability: a physical or mental condition that limits a person's movements, senses, or activities.
If my opponent disagrees with the definitions provided, I encourage him to indicate so in the final round.
My opponent makes the claim that individuals have the right to essentially voice offensive comments to alleged homosexual soccer players. While it is true that citizens have legally protected rights to express their opinions and voice, citizens are not protected from organizations such as Football Association that may implement specific regulations for such behavior. The right to freely speak only protects a citizen from legal or governmental intervention. It does not protect citizens from facing consequences for their actions--consequences that the Football Association has every right to enforce as an autonomous organization.
My opponent also asserts that these supposed rights are being infringed upon by "heterophobic extermists". The first definition for Heterophobia provided already identifies the fallacy of this statement. However, I believe this part of the resolution still warrants focus as it appears my opponent is suggesting that the rights of heterosexuals are being infringed upon. The simple response to this claim is that opposition to homophobic comments is not equal to opposition to heterosexuals. Stonewall's position is not based on aversion to or intolerance for heterosexual individuals. It is based on aversion to intolerant comments made by anyone. My opponent's claim is also faulty as it suggests that all heterosexuals are innately homophobic or will make homophobic comments. Such generalizations are certainly unfair to the many heterosexual people who don't make homophobic comments.
With that in mind, it is a bit uncertain as to how my opponent concludes that opposition to offensive comments is in any way "extremist". Imploring for a civil environment in which all players are treated with respect and are not at risk for verbal abuse is not immoderate or radical. What is uncompromising is the fact that those who favor homophobic comments are asking for others to tolerate their intolerance. Most importantly, the context of which this behavior is arising is not even remotely appropriate. Of course fans of the game will become riled and enthusastic about the sport, but it is irrational to resort to criticizing something as irrelevant as the sexuality of the players.
My opponent then makes the claim that these comments are "humorous" and light-hearted, and at this point he no longer provides any arguments, but a list of examples of the "good-natured" comments directed at soccer players. The simple response would be that subjective humor is not grounds for justifying verbal abuse. Anyone could make the argument that their inappropriate behavior is funny. What they consider funny however does not take away from the fact that other individuals involved are being negatively affected and in some ways, harmed by what is being said. Again, going back to this idea of what is appropriate depending on the context, Soccer is an open sport in which the general public gathers. Unlike in a private setting in which homophobia may be encouraged and enjoyed, in the general public, a number of people become at risk at taking offense to what is said. One is free to say whatever disparaging word he or she likes in their own home, but in a public setting, they are susceptible to being limited if the organization in charge deems so.
Thus, Stonewall's campaign is not unlawful nor is it extremist. The decision of what happens to homophobic fans is ultimately based on the Football Association, and whether for or against the campaign, their decision will remain legally correct.
I broadly accept my opponent's definitions but should like to make it clear that heterophobia is very real, as any straight couple who has walked down Old Compton Street in Soho, London will attest: it is not nice to have groups of homosexual men shout "fvck off breeders" at you from the doorways of gay bars as you pass by on your way to Chinatown.
But you don't have to take my word for it, if you click the link to a gay forum at the foot of this argument, you will find that many gay people admit to be heterophobic. That said, just like most straight people aren't homophobic, I'm sure most gay people aren't heterophobic.
Regarding my previous use of the word "disability": I should have been more specific and indicated that I was referring only to male homosexuals. Typically, homosexual men suffer from impaired eye-hand coordination and reduced spatial awareness which is why they aren't, and have never been, any Formula 1 racing drivers, for instance. Indeed, the list of the ten most famous gay sportsmen worldwide, past and present, reproduced hereunder, contains very few household names.
1. Tom Daley - diver
2. Justin Fashanu - footballer
3. Gareth Thomas - rugby player
4. Thomas Hitzlsperger - footballer
5. Michael Sam - American football player
6. Greg Louganis - diver
7. Donal Og Cusack - hurling player
8. John Amaechi - basketball player
9. Steven Davies - cricketer
10. Robbie Rogers - footballer
Moving on to my opponent's argument that the Football Association (the governing body of English football) is entitled to persecute fans with a sense of humour who do not employ politically correct parlance, I agree, but they have done so only under heavy pressure from homosexual activists, and that's a shame.
You see, one can watch football matches on TV for free but every week millions fans spend a lot of money going to watch their teams play live. Part of the reason for this is the electric atmosphere created when tens of thousands of fans join together and sing songs that inspire their own team by humiliating and intimidating the opposing fans and players. This is a fundamental element of the occasion, and a major part of the enjoyment.
For example, Liverpool is a city that has a high rate of unemployment, where many people sign on at the dole every two weeks to get their benefit payments, but their fans are very proud of their team and sing "Walk on, walk on, with hope in your hearts and you'll never walk alone." However, opposing fans sing the same tune back to them with the words changed to "Sign on, sign on, with hope in your hearts, but you'll never get a job." That's quite funny but also very unkind, isn't it? But should it be outlawed? No.
Similarly, Arsenal's local rival are Tottenham Hotspur. Many of the Tottenham fans are Jewish and at derby matches the Arsenal fans chant "We hate Yiddos and we hate Yiddos, we hate Yiddos and we hate Yiddos (repeat), Yiddos, Yiddos, Yiddos, Yiddos!" Anti-Semitic? Possibly, but it is all meant in jest and even the Tottenham fans, who call themselves Yiddos, by the way, don't want the song banned.
No, it's only a hard core of militant gay activists (who probably only watch football because they like leering at men in shorts) that are campaigning for certain chants to be outlawed. Unfortunately, they have so far been very successful but it's not too late to stop any further interference with the fans' enjoyment of the "beautiful game".
I would like to quickly apologize for the first two broken links listed in my sources. If you click on them, then copy and paste the url from there, it should take you to the original site.
Moving along, to respond to my opponent, even if Heterophobia is indeed a tangible mindset, its existence is irrelevent to the issue of homophobic comments being disbanded from soccer games. Also irrelevent is my opponent's assertion that homosexual males are inherently impaired in some form or another.
My opponent has essentially conceded that the Football Association's decision, by motivation of the Stonewall campaign, is not legally infringing upon any rights, nor is it acting in a manner that is "wholly unwarranted". The remainder of the debate, therefore, will focus on my opponent's perception that since some taunts are allowed, homophobic taunts should be allowed as well.
I will not argue on behalf of Stonewall's position, nor will I try to explain the logic behind their reasoning. I will say, however, that they have the freedom to criticize an aspect of the game if they feel it is infringing upon the identities of individuals involved--in this case, the identities of homosexuals. Again, what becomes of their campaign is up to the Football Association.
Providing my personal two cents, I do not believe that Stonewall speaking against homophobic behavior is necessarily extremist. Campaigning for a civil envirmonment in which individuals are not subjected to verbal abuse seems like a reasonable cause. However, my opponent is under the impression that since Stonewall is supposedly the only group speaking against verbal abuse, they are therefore extreme in their actions. Would my opponent therefore say that, similarly, if three children are being bullied, and out of the three, only one child speaks up, that child is behaving in an irrational, extremist way? If the other two children are either content or too afraid to speak out against their condition, then that is not the fault nor the concern of the third child who did choose to say something.
The same goes for the unemployed individuals who are taunted. If they are content and even mutually enthusiastic about the taunts, as it appears to be based on what my opponent has described, then that is the condition that have chosen to accept. I understand that sports incur excitable behavior that may involve taunts and jeers, but it is all in the spirit of the game--the key, however, is that the spirit of the game is mutually shared by all parities involved. If one party becomes discontent with the environment, that's when the spirit falters. Clearly, homosexual individuals did not feel that the taunts they were receiving were of good-nature. Therefore, that became reason for Stonewall to begin their campaign.
But regardless the reasons behind Stonewall's campaign, ultimately, whether pushed by anti-homophobic advocates or not, Stonewall's campaign is justified and allowable based on the decision of the Football Association.
Thanks again to my opponent for the debate.
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