Tottenham Hotspur fans have been subject to vile homophobic abuse on social media after criticising the team for signing right-back Serge Aurier.
Last week, the player signed a five-year deal with the team in a transfer that will cost around £23 million.
However, the decision disappointed many of their LGBT+ fans after Aurier was suspended back in 2016 for subjecting his coach, Laurent Blanc, and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu to a torrent of homophobic abuse.
During the incident, Aurier called Blanc “a faggot” and, when asked if Blanc “sucks” Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he responded: “Yeah and he takes the ball with it. He takes everything.”
After news of the signing was made public, LGBT+ fans who dared to criticise the move were hit with hundreds of homophobic messages labelling them “faggots,” and telling them that they should be “lynched” for not wanting the team to succeed.
Take a look at just a taster of the hatred that gay fans received below:
If any of you bent cunts still don’t want Aurier then you need to be lynched
— JAKC (@Dierbetic) August 27, 2017
Tottenham is strictly a no gay club from now on, I’d rather have world class full back Serge Aurier than a bunch of fairies, fuck off.
— ˗ˏˋ αlєχ ˊˎ˗ (@thfcAlex) August 16, 2017
Aurier and the evil sinners known as the gays https://t.co/q8CnQ8cq9a
— Çam (@CoysCam) August 21, 2017
Comments included: “Imagine not wanting Aurier because he’s a homophobe” and “You’re a faggot if you don’t want Aurier at your club”.
The homophobic abuse came in response to LGBT+ fan group Proud Lilywhites, who issued a statement following Aurier’s signing insisting that any form of anti-gay rhetoric would not be accepted.
The group said: “What happens when players such as Serge Aurier who have been openly homophobic in the past join a new club and have a fresh start? This is a journey – we don’t want to recriminate.One of our main tools for change is education, so we’d like to see engagement with LGBT+ fans is at the top of Serge’s list.