Closeted World Cup Athletes Nudged Out Into The Open

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.53.28 AMComing 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.

H/t: Reuters

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  • hotboyvb81

    condiering FIFA gave the next World Cup- 2018 to Russia, I think 2022 is going to Qatar….soccer’s not showing itself to be all that gay friendly right now.

  • hotboyvb81

    that’s CONSIDERING- TOTAL brain fart!

  • hyhybt

    @hotboyvb81: Exactly. The World Cup is, as the name implies, a worldwide event, and there are too many countries where coming out would mean not only an end to their soccer career, but also quite possibly to their freedom and/or life.

  • Paco

    I wonder if knowing they and their straight teammates are being sexually objectified and ogled at constantly on gay media sites might be playing a small role in making things difficult for them to comfortably come out. We claim we aren’t doing that in the locker rooms, right?

    Anyway, it was just a random thought.

  • Blackceo


    That is exactly why I knew I had to go to this year’s World Cup. My man and I leave this weekend for Brazil. Being as though I have no intention of going to Russia or Qatar, I knew this would be my last chance to go to the world cup while I was relatively young. Another 12 years and I will be 48, which isn’t old, but I won’t be able to dip it and do it the way I still can now. I went in 94 and 98 when it was held in the US and France, respectively, but I was only a sophomore in college in 98 and went with my parents. This is my first time going with my partner and as a real adult and I want to be open and free to hold his hand or kiss him if I want without worrying about some Neo-Nazis or Muslim extremists trying to kill me.

  • ait10101

    Brazil is pretty accepting of gay couples, but in my time there (three months each last two years) I thought it was not good to make a big deal of it one way or another. It just is.

  • ait10101

    And perhaps as it should be.

  • michael mellor

    The United Nations contains a lot of anti-gay nations.

  • NG22

    @Blackceo: Have fun in Brasil!

  • Blackceo


    I hear you. I don’t make a big deal of it either way. I’m not huge on PDA but I want to be able to give him a peck on the lips or cheek, or hold his hand while walking on the beach without it being an issue. I know that there will be a time and place for everything as well. I’ve been to Rio before and that is where we will be staying near Ipanema Beach so all should be fine. It really is ashame that there aren’t any openly gay World Cup players, and as was pointed out with the next World Cups in Russia and Qatar, I’m not sure it will happen until 2026. One can hope though.


    Thanks…OMG I’m so excited. Will be a test though. Last time I went to Rio I was single and acted quite slutaciously while I was there. Lots of looking but no touching this time, but its all good.

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