West Ham supporters have been warned against homophobic chanting ahead of the visit of Chelsea.
It was announced last month that clubs could now be charged by the Football Association if their fans sing the ‘Chelsea rent boy’ chant.
Jo Bailey, co-chair of Pride of Irons, the official West Ham LGBTQ+ supporters’ group, explained how offensive the chant is in an open letter to supporters.
She said: “Supporters often say ‘oh the Chelsea rent boy chant, it’s just a bit of banter’. Well, that chant demeans fans.
“Think of it as an insult like the term ‘you’re so gay’, meaning you’re a lesser person than I am.
“The chant means LGBTQ+ people are less than non LGBTQ+ people. Once you break it down then supporters realise why it’s an awful and ridiculous chant.
“Not many people know that homophobic chanting is a hate crime and we will be working with the club and police to ensure that offending supporters are dealt with appropriately.”