Mind your language: What words not to use at a football game

Liverpool are owned by the Fenway Sports Group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox.

Story highlights

  • Liverpool issue a list of banned discriminatory terms to employees
  • The list contains words relating to race/religion, sexual orientation, gender and disability
  • Anti-racism organization Kick It Out launches an app allowing fans to report abuse
  • Kick It Out was first established in 1993

English Premier League grounds are noted for their passionate atmosphere and fans sometimes overstep the boundaries of public decency.

In the task of adjudicating just what is and isn't acceptable to say at a football game, leading English Premier League club Liverpool has issued a list of banned words to its employees in its efforts to rid football of discriminatory behavior.

The list of offensive words relates to race and religion, sexual orientation, gender and disability and was circulated to members of Liverpool's staff as part of a longer presentation, one page of which was leaked on the internet.

"The club wishes to eradicate any form of discrimination or discriminatory behavior both on and off the football pitch," reads the leaked document, which Liverpool confirmed was accurate.

"It's important to understand the context of what's being said, but here are examples of words worth listening out for which are usually offensive and the club consider unacceptable."

The list included terms such as "n****r", "queen", "don't be a woman," "cripple" as well as "princess"and "man up".

Read: Bayern's Hoeness charged with tax evasion

"The list -- which is accurate -- was part of a larger, private education program that is designed to teach our employees to recognize any and all forms of discrimination on the grounds, on and off the pitch," a Liverpool spokesman told CNN.

"As it was part of a private presentation, LFC cannot pass you on a copy."

The guidelines have has not been reportedly issued to Liverpool players because they receive separate instructions from the Football Association.

The document prompted much discussion on social networking site Twitter with Guardian journalist Barney Ronay writing: "Catching up with this Liverpool story. I see "lady-boy" appears under both Gender and Sexual Orientation but "she-man" is only under Gender. Typical anti-she man bias."

English football has been blighted by a series of racism scandals in recent years.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches and fined £40,000 in 2011 after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

The club was heavily criticized for its defense of Suarez, with the team and then manager Kenny Dalglish wearing t-shirts in support of the Uruguayan before a Premier League match against Wigan Athletic.

In September 2012 former England captain John Terry was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 for a racist slur aimed at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

Read: Football dies aged 27

Terry also faced a criminal trial over the allegations, after which he was found not guilty.

Meanwhile, English anti-racism organization Kick It Out, which this year marks 20 years of battling discrimination, has launched a smart phone app which allows fans to report incidents of racism at matches.

"It gives football fans the opportunity to report a racist incident if someone is causing a nuisance in their vicinity or trying to spoil their entertainment," former England and Tottenham Hotspur winger and Kick It Out trustee Garth Crooks told CNN.

"For the first time, certainly as long as I've been in football, a football fan can actually complain anonymously about someone being a racial nuisance.

"Now we're not saying that person is a racist, but they're using racist language and it deserves to be reported. The app allows you to do that. It's the perfect tool."

Crooks also hailed the work done by Kick It Out over the last two decades.

"I think it's been very successful," he added. "We've moved from the days where abuse was common place in football and it was embarrassing for all concerned, to a place where the fans have pretty much taken control of the situation.

"They are much more determined to not be sitting in a controlled environment listening to their heroes being abused.

"We have CCTV monitoring areas of the football grounds to make sure that people behave. Managers and players are also involved to try and ensure that, when people play football, it's a comfortable working environment."

      Football Focus

    • After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
    • He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
    • bpr south african soccor senzo meyiwa death _00000402.jpg

      Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
    • German alleged jihadist Kreshnik B (R) listens to his lawyer Mutlu Guenal (L) as he arrives at the higher regional court in Frankfurt. His face is pixelated for legal reasons.

      Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
    • One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
    • Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

      Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
    • Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.