Police Scotland have confirmed that a 20 year old man has been arrested and charged in connection with an obscene banner displayed during a football match this weekend.
The banner, described by fans and LGBT organisations as ‘obscene and deeply homophobic’, depicts a Hamilton Accies fan performing a sex act on a man from Lincoln City FC, whose fans apparently travel to support Motherwell.
Asked to confirm what action was being taken to investigate the matter, Motherwell FC released a short statement earlier, a spokesperson telling us:
“We are aware of reports of a banner being displayed. As this is currently a Police Scotland matter, we are assisting them with their enquiries.”
Others were more direct in their criticism though, including Scottish LGBT rights charity, Equality Network, and sports charity LEAP Sports.
Local SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, Marion Fellows, reacted to the news today and told us:
“As a ‘Well Society’ member and supporter of our local team, it’s extremely disappointing to see such a display from a minority of fans. It does not represent the values of Motherwell FC.
“I hope the fans responsible will reflect on how the banner makes gay and bisexual people feel and what message it sends to those people in the Motherwell support. We can do so much better than juvenile and discriminatory acts like this.”
Motherwell FC are signatories of the Equality Network’s Scottish LGBT Sports Charter and the CLub’s former Chief Executive was Leeann Dempster, who has campaigned for LGBT-inclusion in football and continues her work at Hibernian.
Clare Adamson MSP, who represents Motherwell in the Scottish Parliament, responded to the row saying:
“There is no place in our society for homophobia in any context at any venue. I am glad to see that the police have taken appropriate action and the people responsible will face charges as a result of this appalling behaviour.”
Images of the banner have been shared across social media, with some fans describing complainers as ‘snowflakes’ and that the banner was simply banter between fans.
What do you think?
Offensive and homophobic or just football banter?