Vote: Would you support openly gay players at your football club?

Footballers have shown their support in the past wearing Rainbow Laces
Footballers have shown their support in the past wearing Rainbow Laces

The majority of football fans in Britain would have no issues with an openly gay player at their club, according to a survey carried out for BBC Radio 5 live.

Last week Football Association chairman Greg Clarke told a Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee he "would be amazed" if there were not a gay player in the Premier League and felt "ashamed" that to date no one had been confident enough to publicly reveal their sexuality.

Clarke also believed an openly gay Premier League player would be subjected to "significant abuse" from supporters and he would be "cautious" about advising a player to come out until homophobic abuse could be stamped out.

An online poll of more than 4,000 people across England, Wales and Scotland, conducted by research company ComRes on behalf of BBC Radio 5 live, found 82% of football fans said they would not have a problem with an openly gay player at their club. Eight per cent, though, said they would not watch their team if there was an openly gay player in the side.

The survey also reported 61% of football fans believe gay players should come out to help others do the same, while 71% feel clubs should do more to educate supporters about homophobia.

Of the survey sample, 50% said they had heard homophobic abuse at a sports match, with 51% saying they have heard sexist abuse at a match and 59% saying they have heard racist abuse.