The opening day at Carrow Road had been a celebration of fans returning to stadiums, but it was marred by an inappropriate chant that was swiftly condemned by the club and Kick It Out.
“The use of the term ‘rent boy’ in chants by a portion of Liverpool fans at Carrow Road was unquestionably homophobic and has no place in our game,” Kick It Out said in a statement.
It should not be present at any ground among any set of supporters, but especially not at Liverpool where inclusion is at the heart of the club’s ethos and in line with the anthem of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
However, a subset of the fanbase fail to recognise the offensive nature and impact of such chants to LGBT+ supporters, and the manager joined Kop Outs founder Paul Amann for an important discussion following the offensive chant.
And the stance was clear.
“I never understand that, why you would sing a song that is against something in a football stadium. I never got that. I never liked it and I don’t like this,” Klopp said in the interview with the club’s official website.
“Especially in our case, we have probably the best songbook in the world.
“I think it’s easy – it’s easy to decide not singing the song anymore. Obviously, meanwhile, I heard it. It’s from no perspective the nicest song in the world, so it’s not necessary.
“It obviously makes people uncomfortable of our own fan group. For our supporters group and for me, that means: done, let’s go for another one. I really think it’s an easy decision and should be an easy decision.
“I can imagine now that people out there think now, ‘Come on, it’s only winding them up’ and stuff like this. But that’s the problem: most of the time we don’t understand.
“So, we can decide now: this is not our song anymore. I’m not sure if people listen to me but it would be nice. I don’t want to hear it anymore for so many reasons.”
And Paul was just as unequivocal as he shared the true impact of the words that have emerged from the terraces.
“I’ve got too many LGBT+ friends who have expressed discomfort at being at the match or don’t want to go to the match because they are scared they might be left feeling uncomfortable,” Paul said.
“And what people don’t necessarily realise is that it’s chanted at the player – but actually the people who hear it are fellow fans like myself, who then go from hearing You’ll Never Walk Alone and being embraced in fanhood and that fantastic atmosphere to then suddenly being left in the cold.”
Fans can report incidents of abuse or discrimination that occur either online or in person to the club here.