Former footballer John Fashanu didn’t get the response he was expecting today when he told Good Morning Britain (GMB) viewers that sport and politics should stay separate.
Fashanu appeared on the morning television show amid the ongoing row about World Cup 2022 host Qatar. In particular, around Qatar’s vile anti-LGBTQ+ laws. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
Yet just like Tory MP James Cleverley earlier this week, Fashanu insisted that the rules and regulations of the host nation should be followed:
'Whatever the rules and regulations are of that country, adhere to them. Some of them might be good, some of them might be bad but respect the country'
Former England player, John Fashanu believes politics and football should remain separate pic.twitter.com/zZK9P8JozW
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) November 24, 2022
However, Twitter users didn’t seem to agree. More than one pointed out that Fashanu should know better, given that his own brother Justin – the first openly gay footballer – took his own life:
I know it’s never been at all good, but GMB is a fucking disgrace these days, isn’t it?
Booking John Fashanu, whose gay brother took his own life after intolerable abuse, to argue that being LGBTQ is ‘political’ and should be kept separate from football is a new low.
— Fancy Brenda 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (they/them) (@SpillerOfTea) November 24, 2022
Fashanu was branded a ‘disgrace’. Author Shola Mos-Shogbamimu said standing against inhumanity was not merely politics:
John Fashanu is a disgrace. So you want to enjoy football & ignore LGBTQ+ lives denied by laws of country entertaining you?Standing against inhumanity is NOT politics. Football mustn't be separate from what impacts lives of those who love it #Qatar#WorldcupQatar2022 #OneLoveband https://t.co/107xWm6Vx0
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) November 24, 2022
And Peter Fearns seemed to think that Fashanu’s views were in line with a man who, it was claimed, ostracised his own brother:
John Fashanu doesn't believe England should have worn the Rainbow Armband in Qatar. A man famous for ostracising his brother for being gay. Get him off the TV @GMB.
— PF (@PeterFearns) November 24, 2022
Just last month Fashanu told the Daily Mirror:
If anyone was to blame for what happened it was me. I shunned my brother. If I was like that with him, what was everyone else like?
how I treated him and how his tragic death which was suicide prompted by me, I would say, I am disappointed with myself, that’s one of the biggest disappointments, if i could change the clock, reverse the clock it would be wonderful.
In fact, feelings were even stronger in some quarters, one Twitter user said:
Imagine putting 50p in John Fashanu, you know, the bloke who disowned his brother for being gay, most likely contributing to his suicide in the process. Wouldn’t piss on that man if he was on fire.
— blake (@blake2108) November 24, 2022
Fashanu seemed very certain when he told the interviewers:
Politics and football, we try to keep them away from each other because if politics goes into football – which is what is happening – the politics go up and up and up and then eventually they will win. So I’m just very disappointed.
Yet it is clear to any right-thinking person that sport and politics are never separate. Those who try to claim they should be, or even can be, are doing themselves a profound disservice when they come out with the kind of bullshit John Fashanu did today.
The row over holding the World Cup in Qatar is likely to roll on for the whole tournament – as it should.
Featured image via YouTube screenshot/Good Morning Britain
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