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Supporting Scottish Referees Craig Napier And Lloyd Wilson

Date: 4th June 2022

Earlier this week two Scottish football category one referees, Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson, have come out publicly as gay. 

Now in 2022 this really shouldn’t be a news story but alas football is still behind the times when it comes to sexual orientation. For instance, no current professional footballer has come out in Scottish football. 

The reason for this is probably down to fear. Homophobia is still alive and kicking in the UK unfortunately. Football fans still chant vile homophobic abuse from the terraces, Scottish international midfielder Billy Gilmour was subject to such abuse last season by Liverpool fans. 

That is why we should celebrate the likes of Craig and Lloyd when they take what has to be a huge decision to come out publicly. Footballing officials already receive plenty of scrutiny and abuse from crowds, so these two referees really have stepped forward and will hopefully make it easier for anyone else within the Scottish game to come out if they wish to do so. 

We can only hope that the vast majority of Scottish football fans show these gentleman respect when they officiate games next term. Obviously as supporters they’ll never agree with every decision that a referee makes but at no point should anyone in the stands use the official’s sexuality as a point of abuse! Anyone caught making any homophobic chants or remarks inside football grounds should be dealt with appropriately by the police, The SFA and the clubs. I’d like education to be used as part of any punishment and significant banning orders to be issued too. 

Supporters Direct Scotland always strives to help make Scottish football as inclusive as possible. We want to see more families and people from minority groups feeling football is a safe environment for them to enjoy. I don’t think we are there yet, some people still don’t get that feeling of being welcome at football grounds and we must strive to do more! 

Hopefully with Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson bravely stepping forward we can see a change that sees more within the LGBTQ community feeling safe to be themselves in any and every footballing environment. 

Article by Scott Johnston (@TheFootyblognet)

Posted in: Latest News