Newcastle United has reportedly banned a fan from attending matches at its stadium over posts she made on social media criticising transgender ideology, including asserting the biological reality that “transgender women” are not, in fact, women.
The Premier League has been accused of using “Stasi” tactics after an 11-page dossier of social media posts and other information on Newcastle United supporter Linzi Smith was reportedly used to ban her from attending matches until at least 2026 and was even handed over to the police in an apparent attempt to have her arrested over social media posts rejecting modern gender theories.
Smith, a lesbian woman who has criticised the transgender movement for encroaching on the rights of women, said that the Premier League report also included details about her life, including where she lives, works, and even the route she uses to walk her dog.
According to a report from The Telegraph, the football club informed Smith that she had violated its equality and diversity membership rules through her supposedly discriminatory statements made online.
One example of an apparent violation was when Smith wrote: “It’s like they’re trying to trans the gay away. You’re a young woman who likes sport? YOU’VE BEEN BORN IN THE WRONG BODY!!!! You’re a young man who likes makeup and dressing up??? YOU’VE BEEN BORN IN THE WRONG BODY!!!! Make it make sense.”
The post was among several in an “Online Investigation and Target Profile” reportedly compiled by an unnamed unit for the Premier League, which was established in 2019 to monitor offensive statements, particularly racist remarks, directed towards its players.
‘Being Offensive Is an Offence’ — UK Police Mocked for ‘Hate Crime Awareness’ Event https://t.co/l54qjZhuHx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 22, 2021
The dossier was then reportedly given to Newcastle United, who in turn are claimed to have provided the information to the police for a potential “hate offence”. Smith says that she was interviewed by police, who told her that she had not committed any crime. However, the football club still decided to revoke her membership and prohibit her from attending any matches until 2026.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Smith said: “I’m struggling to believe this has happened to me. It’s mind-blowing that they have gone to such lengths because I have expressed views to which I am entitled on my personal Twitter account.
“They have behaved like the Stasi – it was being done so covertly that I didn’t even know what was happening.
“They kept telling me they want everyone to feel included – but it appears you’re only welcome if you follow their thought process on everything, and if you don’t you are banned. It is sinister and I feel violated, to be honest.”
Smith said that she plans to launch legal action to overturn the ban on the grounds that her views on transgenderism are protected under British law. She also plans to argue that the Premier League’s apparent surveillance of her social media accounts violated data protection laws.
She will be supported in her case by the Free Speech Union, which campaigns against the ever increasing restrictions on speech in the United Kingdom. The FSU said that it is likely that this is not a one-off case, and said it has established an online service for people to launch subject access requests to see if they have been targeted.
The general secretary of the Free Speech Union, Toby Young said: “This is the most egregious example of corporate interference with free speech I’ve ever come across. In effect, the social media accounts of football fans are being monitored by the ‘Stadium Stasi’. It’s like something out of 1984.”
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