Culture of fans is called by snapper
A-League powerhouse Melbourne Victory faces questions over its fan culture after a second abusive incident in as many weeks.
A man was stripped of his club membership after making a racist attack on social media towards Western Sydney player Tarek Elrich last week.
On Saturday, when Victory welcomed the Newcastle Jets to AAMI Park, a photographer was allegedly subjected to homophobic slurs from the crowd.
Freelance photographer and journalist Matt Johnson said he was abused by a member of a large group of fans, saying the language was designed to make him ‘‘feel like s**t’’.
‘‘I froze, paralysed by someone trying to belittle me while doing my job,’’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘‘While (homophobic slurs) have been dismissed as banter in the past, it’s now 2019. This stuff doesn’t belong in sport, society, anywhere. It’s not on.’’
On Sunday, the club was made aware of Johnson’s posts and was asked for a response.
Yesterday afternoon, a club spokesman said Victory ‘‘would require more information before we make comment’’ and would look into the incident.
Johnson said he had been heartened by the support from people in the sport, including PFA deputy chairwoman and former Matilda Kathryn Gill, since making the post.
Unfortunately, A-League supporters have form when it comes to homophobic abuse.
The most prominent display came from Western Sydney fan group Red and Black Bloc, which unveiled a banner of then Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold committing a sex act during a February 2017 derby.
The Wanderers and FFA condemned the banner, but the RBB never apologised.
Victory, who sits second on the table after the 2-1 win over the Jets, play Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium tonight.