Coming out as a professional athlete takes an enormous leap of faith, but does it have to?
What if all the closeted World Cup competitors decided to come out together, smashing stigmas and uniting against homophobic backlash by finding power in numbers?
Well that’s more than a fantasy for U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, who encouraged soccer players to come out as the competition is underway in Brazil.
“That’s the only way they will find the right to sexual orientation accepted. They are role models, it’s important to send this message to their fans as well,” Pillay said, adding that it was “a shame, in this day and age”, that people “had to hide who they really are.
There’s an increasing realisation that combatting discrimination requires more than superficial measures that do not change attitudes or address the root causes of inequality.”
Her comments came during a meeting on equality in sports on the sidelines of the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday.
There are currently a total of zero openly gay World Cup soccer players, which in soccer can be a pretty normal score.
But that hasn’t stopped them from appearing on Queerty in compromising positions, of course.