With so much gay-positive news coming from the world of sports lately, here’s a reminder that there are still enormous hurdles to jump.
A gay German soccer player speaking under anonymity recently told Deutsche Welle why he’s decided to stay in the closet indefinitely.
He talks about an incident a few years back when his entire team found out he was gay.
“By chance the team I was in found out that I was gay.
After a training session I walked into the shower and I realized all of my teammates weren’t naked,but were wearing underpants.
Of course I was totally shocked, and first I didn’t know why. Then I slowly realized: It’s because of me. In that moment I thought my career was over. I didn’t want to go to training anymore.
But after a week I went back to training. By the end of the season though, I was out of contention because I’d been playing badly. Nevertheless, I thought I’d played a good season.
That showed me that being gay just isn’t accepted in football. And that won’t change in the near future.”
Mind you, he currently plays in the under 19 league, which means he was 17 at the oldest when this took place.
It’s a sad outlook, and one we hope will evolve for him along with football and professional sports in general.
And hey, seeing as this mystery footballer is still a teenager, there’s plenty of time for his and everyone else’ attitudes to expand over the course of his professional career.
Homophobia doesn’t resolve itself in a vacuum, and while it falls on no individual’s shoulders to reverse the course, progress only happens when we stand united.
When he’s ready to come out, he’ll come out. And there’s no shame in that.
h/t Gay Star News
You seem to be working under the assumption ‘Nico’ definitely exists…
come to america! we welcome gay players in MLS
Thomas Hitzlsperger came out back in January. An actual link to the article in question which you said came from Deutsche Welle talking about this would be appreciated. Can’t seem to find the article you speak of.
It’s sad to hear that his teammates were such jerks. However, since his whole team knew anyway why not come out at this point?
@fagburn: go back to your cave Peter LaBarbera!
While many of the directors and owners of the various individual country top leagues are middle-aged, ugly, nasty and homophobic men, I’m pretty sure that a lot of the executives serving those leagues are eagerly awaiting the first top-class footballer to come out.
In western Europe and most Anglophone countries, I don’t think a gay footballer is going to represent anything other than a cash cow for sponsors. Nike, Adidas, Puma and other major sponsors have all said they have big money put aside to sponsor a top-notch gay player.
The rationale of Western spnsors is that not only will existing fans (who aren’t as homophobic as anecdotage suggests) will actively show support and it will encourage non-fans to pile on in to show support.
While under-19 footballers might be going through their own voyages of understanding about their own sexuality, I’m prepared to bet good money that by the time their 21, they’ll have agents and managers who will firmly instruct them to get their heads around the fact that gay people exist and it would be career suicide to publicly oppose them.
Soccer/football hasn’t reached its tipping point at the moment, but when it does happen, it’ll happen in droves.
That said, the lack of a top-name football/soccer player to come out in his career merely highlights the criticisms of other multi-million/billion supported sports like rugby and cricket that soccer/football players are manky little cowards in world sport.
Countries like Germany might be legally liberal towards male homosexuality but not so much at the level of the real world where people interact on a daily basis. There’s a divide.
You only have to look at legally liberal cities like New York City and San Francisco. You never see two men holding hands in public unless on rare occasions in gay precincts. It is not socially permitted in the mainstream, partly because women perceive it as a threat.
@michael mellor: You rarely see any couple holding hands in NYC (except tourists). It’s too much work to navigate the crowds and many of us find it an annoyance. We also don’t walk three or four abreast for the same reason.
Football is mainly a lower class sport, most football supporters here in the UK have a double digit IQ and are inbred.
@Hex0 You are more than free to say what you want but you sir lack the intelligence to even know anything about the sport. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean you have to put it down. I know a large number of people in the UK and more than likely they speak more languages than you and are of higher intelligence than you. Your comment is ignorant. IF you actually want to say something at least use something with constructive criticism not something as trivial as what you stated.
Lol, you’re delusional if you think football doesn’t have that “6 pack of stella a night wife-beater” fanbase to it. Not that all football supporters are like that, but rugby, cricket etc. don’t attract nearly as much inbred hooligans as football.
Hasn’t anyone asked the real basic question. What are these so called athletes afraid of?
Are they afraid that we will attacked them in the locker room and these strong men will not be able to defend themselves or are they afraid of their dick size?
This is the problem with American’s and may European in that they feel they should be ashamed of their body. I remember in gym class from Jr. High that you didn’t have the choice not to shower. It wasn’t by any means erotic just being clean. Now no one in school from what I have been told takes showers. Why? Because so called heterosexual coaches don’t believe you should. Believe me a locker room is not where I get my erotic thrills.
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