Anti-Gay Gooner People & Transfer Addicts

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Jun 28th, 2014

Good morning fine people, I hope I find you all in fine fettle. A couple of things happened yesterday to prompt this blog, yet another overreaction by some to the Gay Gooners banner and march today for LGBT rights and the spumescent tweeting of people unhappy about our transfer business so far.

There were two types of reaction to the clubs support of Gay Gooners and promotion of their participation in Gay Pride. The first type of response was of the sickeningly bigoted and homophobic variety and was rightly given short shrift so the less said about such flagitious morons the better.

The second type of responses were along the lines of denial, incredulity and a warped sense of equality. Many people were commenting on Gay Gooners, their banner and organisation proclaiming it unnecessary to have a Gay Gooners group and what made them so special?

These kinds of views and some of the specific views I’ll mention in a moment are just as pernicious as the outright homophobia.

A few have claimed the group is pointless because Gooners are just Gooners regardless of their orientation, creed or race. They say they have never witnessed homophobia of any kind within the ground or their watering holes before or after a game. Whilst the fundamental sentiment of Gooners being Gooners is admirable the addition of saying the group is pointless and the addendum of never witnessing first hand any bigotry points to an underlying issue.

The facade of equality in name does not make you a believer of equality. Ignoring bigotry and claiming certain types of inequality does not exist within the environs you frequent does not mean it does not happen.

I have been told many times that the majority of people in the stadium are pro- or anti-Wenger yet I have sat in various parts of the ground and found concentrated opinions and a general mix. I cannot say for certain that one group is more vocal than the other. I can say for certain that racism exists within the ground of the Emirates regardless of what many season ticket holders tell me.

I have been assured that racism doesn’t happen at the Arsenal or is extremely rare yet on most occasions I have been at the Emirates I have heard monomaniacal troglodytes scream racist slurs about “J*ps and their fu*king Nikon cameras” taking up seats that should be preserved for “real” supporters.

Outside of football I have been assured that racism towards white British folk like myself doesn’t happen yet I have been racially abused on two separate occasions. It probably pales in comparison to the type of abuse many black and Asian people put up with but it proves that it happens in all walks of life.

Inequality exists everywhere. We are all guilty of it and those that pretend they aren’t are just fooling themselves. It is human nature to consider yourself better than other distinct groups but it is how that prejudice surfaces that defines how harmful it is. Judging someone on the colour of their skin or the person they fall in love with is harmful. The sort of prejudice I am guilty of probably isn’t that harmful.

My prejudice stems from working. I consider myself better than certain people who don’t work. That is a form of inequality because I don’t consider those people my equals. I should probably explain that it is specifically about those who can work, who have access to and no barriers to work and the ability to do the jobs on offer but consciously choose not to work and to live a life on handouts.

I grew up in a single parent four child family and back then flexible working wasn’t really a thing so my mum did what she could, as and when it came about, but for the majority of the time she was on benefits. The jobs available to her were not suitable for a single mother with four children to care for and she would have been worse off had she paid for childcare. There are many people in the same situation and why should they leave the majority of their child’s upbringing to a stranger when they could do it themselves and have a slightly better income?

However there are those that choose not to work and in some cases of people I know are proud not to work with someone I know once telling me their new boyfriend was allergic to two things in life “bullsh!t and hard work”.

I digress but my point is I am guilty of some forms of inequality. I don’t walk around verbally, mentally or physically abusing these people but like many hard working people around the world I am guilty of the thoughts of “why should I work so hard for people like that to abuse the system?” and it is the phrase “people like that” which makes it a prejudiced view.

Ignoring inequality or refusing to accept that it exists, even in the minutest of forms, exacerbates the situation. As long as there are enough people denying it exists or saying it’s not a problem the longer it takes to eradicate it.

Some have asked why the Gay Gooners, specifically, need a group and why don’t we have a “straight Gooners” club or a “trainer wearing Gooners” club.

Well, firstly, it is generally accepted that the “default” orientation of the majority of the Earth is heterosexual. That is not to say one sexuality is better etc, so there’s no need to have a specific group for hetero Gooners, plus homosexual Gooners don’t walk around telling straight people they are disgusting or unnatural as many homosexual Gooners have unfortunately had to put up with from their straight peers.

And if all of a sudden people who wear shoes, sandals or moccasins start verbally abusing you for wearing trainers then please get in touch and I will help you set up a group to help battle this heinous injustice.

Gay Gooners exists to campaign for LGBT rights but what makes them different from other LGBT groups is they have combined their LGBT status with their identity as lovers of the same football team. What is great about such groups is they not only help to highlight serious issues within our society that need addressing but also demonstrate what a wonderfully inclusive sport football has become and I for one salute them and our wonderful club for their continued support of them.

On to the second subject which is transfers. Lots of people are getting frustrated with our perceived lack of business so far and are glancing longingly at others clubs who have done business – with some even going to the extreme of contumeliously begrudging Wenger a day off at the beach.

Arsène Wenger generally doesn’t buy tournament players during tournaments and who can blame him? It’s financially risky as a players stock can rise but what if you buy that player before or during the tournament and they get injured playing for their country? It’s certainly worth the few extra pounds to ensure we are getting a fit player.

In 2000 he bought Pires before the Euros but waited until after the Euros to buy Wiltord.
In 2002 he waited until after the finals to purchase Gilberto, arguably one of his best ever signings.
In 2004 he didn’t buy any tournament players.
In 2006 he bought Rosicky before the tournament and Gallas and Baptista afterwards.
In 2008 he bought Nasri after the tournament.
In 2010 he bought Koscielny.
In 2012 he bought Podolski early but Giroud and Cazorla joined after France had been knocked out and Spain had won.

What this tells me is that when it comes to his most significant transfers during tournament years he tends to get it done one that player is no longer in the tournament. The exceptions of Rosicky, Podolski and Pires being signed before Wenger went off to watch the tournament or make TV appearances seem to have come about as a matter of urgency. Each player was available at a ridiculously low fee for their talent and reputation and things were wrapped up before anyone else could steal a march.

Some may be wondering why that hasn’t happened this summer but there are some easy answers. Firstly, maybe no-one that fits the precedent of the forenamed players was available. Secondly, as has been mooted by many on Twitter, and a conspiracy theory I think actually has legs, is we have a new kit being launched on July 10th and Arsenal/PUMA may want the new kit out so new signings can hold it up.

No transfer news for Arsenal is making a lot of people quite unhappy and it is as though they are addicted to transfers. It’s as if Arsenal buying players is actually more important than seeing the team play. Arsenal do need to strengthen but hinging your happiness against Arsenal doing business is unhealthy especially with so many days to go before the window closes. If you’re already working yourself up about it then you’re probably in for a pretty rough few weeks before we start doing anything to alleviate your angst.

The transfer window technically doesn’t open for a few days so relax if you are worried. There is still plenty of time to get deals done and the World Cup isn’t over yet.

Thanks for reading! Please comment on this post, subscribe by email, share with friends and follow me on twitter (@thedanielcowan). Please check out the official NLIR Facebook page for news, views, freebies and more. 

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

2 Responses to “Anti-Gay Gooner People & Transfer Addicts”

  1. Chris says:

    Well thought-out and reasoned article.
    The Gay Gooner group is fine; get some publicity, raise awareness etc, but then be done with it.
    You can’t hope for equality when you are consistently pointing out how different you are, especially in circumstances where if you weren’t holding up a banner proclaiming it, you’d never know.
    It’s great that they’re doing it, to show that they are here, and have been all along to raise awareness etc, but then let it go.

    My sister is a very well known and respected activist for the LGBT rights movement in the US, and she’d be the first to tell you that showing you exist and that you are like everybody else is the goal; sticking it in the faces of those who hate you, achieves nothing but inciting them.
    For too many years, the LGBT movement was about venting a life time’s worth of frustration at anybody who’d listen, and if it outraged bigots and homophobes, all the better.
    Antagonizing people and forcing them to agree with you lifestyle choices is never going to work. Teaching people to be tolerant and keep their comments and opinions to themselves is far more useful.

    As a member of a minority myself, all I want to do at the football is be a fan. I’m proud of who/what I am, but to wear a sign stating who/what I am, is simply giving the bird to all those who aren’t comfortable with it, when otherwise they would give a crap who I am. Why try to stand out, in one of the places you fit in?
    We’ll see where it goes from here, but it feels like PC and attention seeking to me, as well meaning as the intent may be.

  2. Lesley says:

    A very interesting and thought out article. Had several valid points. The involvement and promotion by the club of the Gay Gooners, hits close to home what with being one myself and it makes me proud to follow this team that practices what it preaches: equality for all. As for transfers, they will come or they will not. Every man and his child knows we need to strengthen in several positions, but if we buy one, two or no one I’ll still be shouting We’re by far the greatest team the world has ever seen from the stands.

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