Norwich City urged to apologise by LGBTQ+ fans group for 'homophobic abuse wall' Pride campaign

The words were covered up with paint to show that homophobic language is "never okay". Credit: Norwich City/Twitter

A Championship football club has been urged to apologise for "an error of judgment" after its own LGBTQ+ supporters group criticised a social media campaign centred on a wall plastered with homophobic abuse.

Norwich City came up with the Pride Wall concept to mark Pride month, which takes place every year in June.

The club's social media campaign revolved around a wall which had been covered in homophobic terms, with the message: "This language is not okay and never will be."

The wall was then later covered in paint to get the message across that the club's stadium, Carrow Road, is a "home for everyone".

But the fan group Proud Canaries has now called upon the club to apologise for having publicised the very homophobic abuse it was seeking to define as unacceptable.

Norwich City say that the club is a "home for everyone." Credit: Norwich City/Twitter

The club also released a 14-minute video on Youtube, in which club legend Darren Eadie, and current players Kenny McLean and Megan Todd, discussed discrimination in the sport with gay Canaries fan Tim Carr.

Mr Carr was included in the campaign to represent the Proud Canaries, the club's LGBTQ+ fans group.

In a statement released on Thursday, the group claimed that it had not been briefed about the "abuse wall" concept before agreeing to take part in the filming, and if the group had been, members would have "firmly advised against it".

The group also called on the club to delete the film, and "apologise publicly".

"The finished edit is far from positive. Viewers, including those from our community, are subjected to the sight of a lexicon of slurs - regularly used to target LGBTQ+ people - for almost the entire duration of the production," the statement read.

"That error of judgement was compounded exponentially with the launch tweet, ironically stating 'that this language is not okay' - while platforming it."

"We've asked the club to delete the film in its current form, apologise publicly, and work with us, Norwich Pride, and the wider fan base to make good."

The campaign received considerable criticism online, including from Paul Sinha from ITV gameshow The Chase, who tweeted: "I'm gigging in Norwich this Saturday. The heckling may be unusually severe."

Carrow Road, the home of Norwich City. Credit: PA

A spokesperson for Norwich City told ITV News Anglia that conversations between the club and Proud Canaries about the nature of the concept had taken place before filming.

The club also vowed to continue to have "extensive dialogue" with fan groups.

"As ever, all at Norwich City are proud of the club’s ongoing work to support diversity, equality and inclusion across our players, staff and supporters," a statement read.

"Throughout recent years the club have had, and continue to have, extensive dialogue with its various fan groups.

"We are determined to continue our work in this area, tackling discrimination in football, supporting difficult conversations and pushing boundaries in making Norwich City a home for everyone."