August 4 – Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who has three England caps, has pledged to call out homophobia in football, revealing his deep pride in his brother who is gay.
Ramsdale says he will no longer remain silent when hearing homophobic comments in dressing rooms or seeing them on social media, adding that he wants football to be a “safe and welcoming place”.
In an article published in The Players Tribune, Ramsdale said his commitment was driven by the desire to ensure that his brother can attend matches without fear of facing abuse or discrimination.
“Football is for everyone. If you disagree, maybe you’re the one who needs to shut up and look in the mirror,” the 25-year-old wrote.
“I want this game I love to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone. I want my brother, Ollie – or anyone of any sexuality, race or religion – to come to games without having to fear abuse.”
A Fulham fan was banned last month from attending matches for three years and fined after engaging in homophobic chanting while Wolverhampton Wanderers were fined £100,000 over similar behaviour by supporters.
“Over the years, I’ve probably bit my tongue a few too many times whenever I hear homophobic comments or stupid things being said,” Ramsdale added.
“I think maybe my brother has done the same, thinking it would make my life easier. All that ends today.”
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