Sunday, May 5, 2013

Report: Eight gay English Premier League players have come out to teammates


According to The Guardian, at least eight players in the English Premier League have revealed to their teammates that they are gay, but have refused to go public in fear of the backlash they may receive from fans and media.

Those eight players have reportedly gained considerable support from their teammates since coming out in the locker room.

The last British professional soccer player to reveal he was gay and still continue his career was Justin Fashanu in 1990. Fashanu played for four more years before tragically committing suicide at the age of 37. Fashanu cited "heavy damage" from the backlash he received for coming out as the primary cause.

More from The Guardian:

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 nearly one week after NBA veteran Jason Collins became the first player from a United States professional sports league to publicly reveal that he was gay.

Via Sports Illustrated

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