A total of 38 incidents were reported across last season, a decrease on the previous year which has been driven by a drop in incidents of homophobic and sexist abuse. While the overall total is positive, the numbers of reports of racism have stayed at the same level, which shows there is still plenty of work to do.
During last season, the club started to raise awareness of the use of the ‘g-word’ in stadiums, which is the derivative of ‘gypsy’ used at the end of a popular chant about our local rivals. We are fully aware that our supporters have used this chant for several years, and we’re also aware that many of our supporters consider the word to be ‘football banter’ and ‘part of the game’. The word in question is racist, its use can be classed as a hate crime and we will no longer ignore its use at our matches.
Of the 24 racist incidents reported last season, eight were related to this word. As a result of these, six education and awareness sessions for supporters involved were run by the club, assisted by Kick It Out where appropriate, while stadium bans and behaviour agreements have also been issued in two cases. The club will continue to take appropriate action across the coming season and ask everyone to play their part in tackling discrimination by no longer using the ‘g-word’ in chants.