A former footballer has criticised a Scottish Premier League club for putting rainbow stripes on their new kit.
Partick Thistle’s away kit for the 2019-20 season pays tribute to the LGBT community with a small set of stripes on each side.
But Frank McAvennie, formerly of West Ham and Celtic, believes the ‘political statement’ could end up costing the club money.
"If a Partick Thistle fan refuses to buy his child a strip which pays tribute to gay pride because he’s worried his child will get slagged, does that make him a homophobe?” The 59-year-old asked in a Scottish Sun column. "No, it makes him a considerate dad, who is putting his child’s feelings before any political statement.
"And the club loses his money as a result.
"Then multiply that by potentially hundreds of parents who are going to take the same stance.
“Suddenly the club is needlessly kissing goodbye to cash it can ill afford to be without."
So @MaccaFrank thinks there should be a “straight choice” when it comes to the progressive, inclusive new away kit 🌈⚽️🌈. Disingenuous doesn’t even begin to describe his article. @PartickThistle changing football for the better. @prideinfootball
— Proud Jags (@proudjags) June 23, 2019
Wrong @MaccaFrank a)@PartickThistle #rainbow kit is good business b)clubs championing inclusion bring new fans to empty seats. Pleased to hear of the gay pals tho; trust you were an active ally to #JustinFashanu @WestHamUtd ⚽️🏳️🌈via @Football_SCO @proudjags https://t.co/sSvpAsnyFM
— Pride in Football 🏳️🌈⚽️ (@prideinfootball) June 23, 2019
The former Scottish international’s stance drew criticism on Twitter, with both Pride in Football and Proud Jags condemning the 59-year-old’s stance and saying the kit launch was ‘progressive’ and ‘championing inclusion.’
But McAvennie continued that the shirt sales will decline because fans ‘take exception to having opinions forced upon them’.
‘Jags support who hold firm religious beliefs will not be happy’ about it, he added.
His column continued: "Generally speaking they don’t sign up for that lifetime of commitment — bringing joy and heartache with it — all because that team has made a bold political statement.
"At the end of the day, punters don’t like having things like this rammed down their throats. Footy fans are a fickle bunch and they take exception to having opinions forced upon them.
"You can’t force followers to advertise a standpoint by making them wear it on a replica kit, whether they like it or not.
"And by the way, that exact point has also been made to me by a couple of gay pals I’ve discussed it with. There will almost certainly be elements of the Jags support who hold firm religious beliefs who will not be happy about the strip and won’t be buying it."
Featured from our writers