Warning: this is not a post for the faint-hearted and contains reference to apparently racist, homophobic and generally unpleasant football chants.
It can't have escaped any tabloid reader's attention that Arsenal and England footballer, Sol Campbell is currently getting a lot of publicity for his off-field problems, which are affecting his on-field performances. But according to Simon Hattenstone of The Guardian, the chants directed at Sol Campbell sung by Tottenham fans have reached a new low (despite the fact he or his team weren't even playing).
According to Hattenstone, the chants reflect not only homophobia (claims that Sol Campbell is gay and has HIV - a claim that led to his brother getting into a fight and being sent down for assault, last year), but sexism (for their use of the c-word) and racism (for their use of the image "hanging from a tree", which supposedly links to lynchings of black men in America).
Hattenstone's version of events has been rubbished by some Tottenham fans in today's papers, but it does at least raise a few interesting questions about what's fair game for abuse at a football match and what's considered appropriate material for chants.
So, what do you reckon: racist, homphobic and generally unpleasant, or just part of the everyday culture of football matches and lots of blokes together? Comments welcome...
ENA1 - Language & Representation
ENA6 - Language Debates (Political Correctness)