Norwich LGBT + fan group criticises club tweet containing homophobic slurs

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Proud Canaries, Norwich City’s official LGBT + fan group, has criticized a club tweet that contained “unacceptable and unnecessary” slurs in an attempt to condemn homophobic behavior.

On Wednesday, Norwich tweeted: “This language is not okay and will never be”. This was accompanied by a wall containing graffitied homophobic slurs with some letters replaced with punctuation marks.

A number of those slurs were left written out in full.

The tweet also contained “# Pride2022” and “#HomeforEveryone”. June is the universal Pride Month – a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBT + community.

Norwich also produced a video accompanying the tweet, with the graffiti wall featuring throughout.

The tweet and video have been subject to widespread criticism, with Proud Canaries also voicing its concern.

A statement from the group to The Athletic read: “We know people often use this to describe their reactions but we felt sick and hugely disappointed on seeing the release of today’s content by the club. Everybody we have seen has said it is unacceptable. That wall of abuse is unacceptable and unnecessary.

“None of us need to be reminded what a homophobic slur looks or sounds like, in order to make Carrow Road a more welcoming place. It’s just the most bizarre concept.

“To have three outwardly straight people talking on screen with one gay person, against a backdrop of homophobic abuse, is just unthinkable in any other context be it disability, racism, misogyny or anything else.

“We will be expressing our views directly to the club. If this really is about making Carrow Road a home for everyone and not just ticking equality standard boxes, then there is an opportunity to make good at the end of July come Norwich Pride.

“We would also hope that in taking on such ideas in the future, the club will seek expert advice on how to script and present them.

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“This was all unnecessary had they sought such advice, whether that be from Stonewall, the Premier League or EFL, FA or closer to home, the first official LGBTQ + fan group in the country.”

A public statement from Proud Canaries added: “Proud Canaries were asked to take part in the project. The impression given was that the film would record an upbeat Occasion with players and fans alike throwing paint rainbows at a concourse wall to create an inclusive graffiti mural while discussing the negative impact of bigotry.

“Had we been briefed on the constantly in-view, and in-focus abuse wall concept we would have firmly advised against and deemed it a deal-breaker.

“The finished edit is far from positive. Viewers, including those from our community, are subjected to the sight of a lexicon of slurs – regularly used to target LGBTQ + people – for almost the entire duration of production.

“That error of judgment was compounded exponentially yesterday with the launch tweet, ironically stating that this language is not okay ‘while platforming it.

“We’ve asked the club to delete the film in its current form, apologize publicly, and work with us, Norwich Pride and the broader fan base to make good.”

The tweet and video remain on Norwich’s account.

A statement from Norwich read: “As ever, all at Norwich City are proud of the club’s ongoing work to support diversity, equality and inclusion across our players, staff and supporters.

“Throughout recent years the club have had, and continue to have, extensive dialogue with its various fan groups.

“We are determined to continue our work in this area, tackling discrimination in football, supporting difficult conversations and pushing boundaries in making Norwich City a home for everyone.”

(Photo: Getty Images)

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