By Ian Hart
Hats off to the Albion for joining in with the nationwide campaign last weekend to combat homophobia in football.
Rainbow flags, rainbow displays in the stands, even the players wearing rainbow laces, as I said all very admirable and great way of putting the very powerful message across.
But how long will this forward thinking outlook last? Not that very long unfortunately, sadly even on Sunday afternoon there were a number of Wolves supporters ejected from the Amex for homophobic chanting.
But if you thought that was bad then wait until Monday night when the Albion travel to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace in what is now dubbed the ‘M23’ derby.
Somewhat ironic that just a week after football’s credible stance against homophobia, the Albion travelling faithful will be subjected to homophobia on a scale rarely seen anywhere else on the Albion’s travels.
Every homophobic chant or slur you can imagine will get an airing at Selhurst Park on Monday night, aimed firmly at both the Albion side and their travelling supporters.
And what exactly will the Metropolitan Police do about it?
As intense as the ‘Derby’ is, unless it’s a positive result for the Seagulls it can sometimes be for the Albion travelling faithful one of the least enjoyable away days in the season.
Croydon Police will no doubt claim they don’t treat Albion fans any different to any of the 18 teams who visit Selhurst Park in the Premier League. From my own personal experience, and those of many friends I would beg to differ.
So therefore it will be interesting to see how the Police on duty on Monday night will deal with the obligatory homophobic abuse?
Come Tuesday morning, with the Rainbow displays of last weekend up and down the nation still fresh in the minds of every decent football fan, will there be a record number of ejections on Monday night for abusive and sexually related chanting? Don’t bet on it...
On the field this Monday. I’m going for the Albion unbeaten streak to stretch to three games with a 2-0 win.
So Anthony Joshua writes himself into boxing history as one of those legendary fighters who regained the World Heavyweight Championship, but was Saturday night’s points victory in Saudi Arabia the stuff of legends?
Maybe if your Joshua’s bank manager or accountant, with the Watford born fighter earning a reputed £52million for his victory over Andy Ruiz Junior.
His opponent for his part, still pocketed £10million, for a contest where his preparation contained too much pizza and Corona. As a boxing fan I was underwhelmed, that said Joshua did what he had to do.
The upshot is however positive for boxing fans around the globe.
It’s superfights for him now, no more ‘bums’ at Wembley or Cardiff, starting in May against either four or five in the World, hopefully Dillian Whyte, before next September, the fight we have been waiting for against the winner of the Wilder and Fury rematch.
I still believe that will be Tyson Fury, and unfortunately for AJ, I still believe there will only be one winner.