British soccer star Graeme Le Saux, who had long been plagued by gay rumors, recently sat down with CNN’s Don Riddell to discuss homophobia in the sports arena. Here’s a meaty bit:
DR: It’s thought that only one professional soccer player in the world has ever declared himself to be gay. That was the Englishman Justin Fashanu and he committed suicide a decade ago. John Amaechi became the first gay player to be associated with the NBA last year, but such declarations are extremely rare. In many cases homosexuality remains pro sport’s last taboo.
GS: It’s such a terrible reflection on a sport that has so much positive impact across the globe that there is still this issue about gay people within the sport. If you look at so many other professions in terms of business and politics, across the board the gay community is represented but in football it still isn’t and I find that disappointing. There may not be many gay players in the game but the sport should be grown up enough to be able to support those people in the football environment.