For the Love of the Game? examines hate crime in a post-Brexit and post-covid-19 context. Since the 2016 Brexit referendum, hate crime in England and Wales has risen sharply, and more than doubled since 2012 (Home Office 2018). As a globally popular cultural pursuit, football is not immune to hate crime; it is a political, economic, and socio-cultural contexts which informs how hate crime manifests in and beyond the game. We recognise though that hate crime is complex, reflecting the individual actions of football fans, gendered histories, masculine cultures, and social practices that are produced and reinforced at different levels of both governance and play.
We know academic studies about football, and specific analyses of racism (Back et al 2001; Garland and Rowe 2001; Carrington and McDonald 2001; Burdsey 2006; 2011; Ratna and Samie 2017; Hylton 2018; Poulton 2019); sexism (Dunn 2014; Pope 2017); sectarianism (Flint and Kelly 2013); homophobia (Caudwell 2011; Magrath 2018); and hooliganism (Garland and Rowe 2002) exist, for example, but how hate “becomes” a crime, and is produced, experienced, and challenged in and through such vectors of discrimination, are less understood.
This network will help to develop such knowledge and connect them through an intersectional lens for the first time. Significantly, we draw upon a range of fans, stakeholders, community activists, and fan groups, through an art-based approach, to facilitate new and different understandings, as it impacts those who are survivors of hate crime, and which centres their demands and rationalities for how to tackle it.