Bev Turner has hit out at a decision to ban a female football fan from matches over social media posts that were deemed transphobic.
It comes after a “Stasi” investigation by the Premier League into the life of Linzi Smith, a gender-critical Newcastle United supporter, prompted by her expressing strong views on trans ideology on her personal X account, formerly known as Twitter.
Despite Smith’s comments having nothing to do with football, a special unit set up to root out racism in the game was used to investigate Smith.
After Newcastle United took the decision to revoke her membership and ban her from games until 2026, GB News host Bev Turner claimed it was an instance of the “surveillance state” at play.
Bev Turner has lashed out at Newcastle United
GETTY / GB NEWS
“She has basically done some tweets that criticise the trans activist ideology”, she said.
“This is about the surveillance state. It is about corporate interference and the thought police.
“They are stopping you going about your free business to go and watch a football match.”
Broadcaster Emma Woolf waded in to concur with Bev’s comments, saying the punishment is indicative of a society that demonises views not aligning with “modern day wokery”.
Smith, 34, was informed that the Premier League had compiled a dossier with details such as where she lives, works and where she walks her dog.
The 11-page ‘target profile’ included data on her ‘associated aliases’ and ‘vulnerabilities’.
Matthew Laza discussed the stance taken by Newcastle United on a gender-critical supporter
Newcastle are majority owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which Matthew Laza says is ‘ironic’
She told The Telegraph: “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.”
Newcastle United began delving into Smith’s personal life after receiving a complaint from a fan accusing her of discrimination against trans people.
The complainant sent screenshots of tweets Smith had posted in which she suggested the trans lobby was homophobic because it wanted to “trans the gay away”, and that some transgender people were suffering from mental illness.
The complainant said: “If I were trans, I would feel extremely unsafe… had I had to share a space with someone so openly transphobic… Many of her tweets revolve around the ‘LGB’ movement, a trans-exclusionary and discriminatory movement for members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community to deliberately exclude and aim to discourage/discriminate/target the transgender community.”
Newcastle, who are backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), were criticised by ex-Labour adviser Matthew Laza, who suggested they were guilty of hypocrisy.
“The irony is, Newcastle United is owned by Saudi Arabia, a haven of LGBTQ+ rights, I don’t believe”, Laza quipped on GB News.
“The irony is just beyond belief.”