Sam Smith Slammed For Calling People “Lads” At Football Match

Ben PulsfordBen Pulsford in Entertainment, Music, News, UK
Published 19.02.20

Sam Smith slammed for calling people “lads” at football match

“Good old day at the game #LADS @fulhamfc.”

British singer Sam Smith – who recently hit headlines for saying Valentine’s Day was “offensive” – has come under fire for an Instagram post they made while at Craven Cottage for the Fulham match over the weekend.

View this post on Instagram

Good old day at the game ⚽️ #LADS @fulhamfc

A post shared by Sam Smith (@samsmith) on

The singer posted a picture of themself and a group of friends watching this weekend’s Fulham game. They referred to the group of mates as “LADS” in the caption and some social media users have taken serious umbrage with it.


A few social media users have reacted negatively to Sam’s choice of words, calling them out for the use of a male pronoun, when they have come out as non-binary and asked fans and the media to respect their gender identification and preferred pronouns.

One Twitter user commented:

“Did you just assume there genders?”

Another vented:

“’Lads’ isn’t a non binary term! Pick a lane and stay in it! Your nonsense offends me!”

Another tweeted:

“Lads?!?! Didn’t think you used language that identified gender…..”

This social media user wrote:

“Lads? Don’t assume their gender you pig.”

I mean I’m offended by all that horrendous grammar. Think before you type indeed.


It’s worth noting that some of these social media users might be taking the p*ss, rather than actually calling out Smith’s choice of language and feeling passionately about it.

Nevertheless, it’s opened up a debate all the same.


It’s a real tricky one, isn’t it?

“Lads” is such a colloquial term, that I myself have used sarcastically time and time again without even thinking about; but it is quite clearly associated with a gender. And when you’re someone like Sam Smith, a high-profile celeb who’s come out so bravely and publicly, asking that their gender identification be respected (which of course, it should be) – it might be a little confusing (to some) to see them using the word “lads” to label a group of people.

This is tiny misjudgement of words, I’m sure of that, but of course, when you come out as non-binary, people are going to want to trip you up and call you out at every occasion.


Sam Smith has been a journey of self discovery and is no doubt still learning about these things themself. It’s f*cking tough.

I think was a genuine mistake, that some were keen to point out ’cause that’s what the internet likes to do.


But in the wake of Caroline Flack’s suicide this week, let’s just try and remember to be kinder and more sympathetic to one another.

The key here is: think before you post. Everyone. 

Images via Getty, Twitter and Instagram