Posted May 05, 2013

Report: Eight gay Premier League players have come out privately

Soccer

At least eight gay players in the English Premier League have revealed their sexuality to their teammates, but have refused to go public because they fear backlash from fans and media, according to The Guardian.

The last British professional soccer player to come out and continue his career was Justin Fashanu in 1990. Fashanu played for four years before committing suicide at age 37, citing the “heavy damage” the backlash to his coming out caused him.

The eight players have approached Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle to reveal their sexuality and have gained support from their teammates, according to the report.

From The Guardian’s Mark Townsend:

Chris Basiurski, chair of the Gay Football Supporters’ Network, said that, although progressive attitudes had begun to infiltrate the dressing room, the fear of how supporters would react remained a problem.

“The danger is not so much coming out, but what happens next,” he said. “One of the problems Justin Fashanu found was that he was the first black millionaire player, and a lot of things were expected of him on the pitch at Nottingham Forest and it didn’t really work out. When that happened, the dressing room and the management used his sexuality as a thing to bash him with.”

Basiurski said the organisation had heard reports of professional players whose sexuality was a secret guarded inside the game: “We have anecdotal evidence that players are out within their clubs and don’t have a problem. But we are trying to create an atmosphere for people to come out safely, but at the moment there is a big barrier. The fact is, we have never really tested the fans, both home or away, on this.

“The danger is what happens when a player comes out and gets loads of support and attention, but then start playing badly. The worry is that fans will start getting on their backs and they may lose the confidence of their manager and it could be connected to their sexuality.”

The news comes less than a week after the NBA’s Jason Collins became the first active player in U.S. pro sports to come out.


11 comments
kgill28
kgill28

No one cares about soccer.

RomarioDelLago
RomarioDelLago

No one cares about this news.  Stop trying to force an agenda on people (directed at our liberal media morons). 

Mark Stephens
Mark Stephens

So, hold up, if I say I'm gay I can go in the women's shower room?  Hmmmm?  

Bklr588
Bklr588

What a waste of space. I am annoyed with myself first for reading this story (ok, reading the first sentence of this story) and second for feeling compelled to comment on what an idiotic waste of time and energy it is. NOBODY F****ng CARES! Have a fisting party for all I care, just keep it to yourself and stop telling me what you do with other people, male, female or somewhere on the continuum. I care not one whit. Leave me alone and feed me sports!

TA1
TA1

These guys did not reach their positions in sports having sex, it was playing soccer... What is that money being given to them for? Sex? Soccer!!! All we have to do is respect each others boundaries. Maybe one of the gifts of life is being ugly, since I have never had another male hit on me... Thank You Creator!

John4
John4

They're not gay, they're just "really British"!

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

Wow! And none of these players molested a teammate in the showers/ Or seduced them in the whirlpool? 

MichaelL2
MichaelL2

 @RomarioDelLago

Because conservatives will stop talking about homosexuality, trying to pass Constitutional amendments barring gay marriage and equal rights for homosexuals? Great. If liberals stop talking about abortion, will conservatives shut up about it? 

quen047
quen047

 @Bklr588 Sorry that you don't care, although that seems rather contradicted by the fact that you read the story in full and then took the time to comment on it. But people pretty clearly care, including me. If you can't quite grasp the fact that a gay footballer coming out (or 8 of them!) isn't worthy of news, given that the last one who did was essentially driven to suicide by the ostracism he faced, then you are a pretty thick bloke.