Football has often been associated with derogatory and antagonistic language, from chants within the stadium to online abuse towards footballers. Such behaviour has often been at the expense of the LGBT+ community, with British football often being accused of having a hostile environment towards non-hegemonic identities. The absence of an ‘out’ professional footballer at the elite level of football has strengthened the claim of a hostile environment, with the last active player to come out publicly as gay in the top flight of British football being Justin Fashanu, who received widespread backlash at the time. However, on the 16th of May 2022, Jake Daniels publicly came out as gay, becoming a significant event within the football world, as well as an unprecedented research opportunity within the English Premier League era. To explore this phenomenon, the researcher composed the following research question: How do Twitter users react to English Premier League clubs showing support for Jake Daniels publicly coming out as gay? In tackling this research question, the researcher conducted a content analysis, coding a sample of n1240 Twitter responses to English Premier League clubs’ show of support for Jake Daniels. Through this content analysis, it was found that responses were often negative (88.3% n716) and hostile in nature (57.6% n467). The findings also call to attention the need for a shift away from passive support and apathy towards LGBT+ issues in football, with the support shown towards Jake Daniels often being overshadowed by the overt presence of negative comments within the discourse surrounding football on Twitter.
|Date of Award||11 Aug 2023|
|Supervisor||Daghan Irak (Main Supervisor)|