German Soccer Champ Philipp Lahm To Gay Players: “Stay Closeted, Mein Freund”

Champion cyclist Graeme Obree told the Scottish Sun  this week that gay athletes should stay in the closet until they retire, like he did.

Well, it seems stupidity is in the air.  Philipp Lahm, captain of the German national soccer team, has just put out a book in which, among other things, he refutes the rumors that he’s a homo and advises gay players to stay in the closet.

“First, I am not a homosexual. I am not married to my wife Claudia for appearances and I do not have a friend in Cologne with whom I really live,” Lahm—who once received an award from the Weimar Gay Triangle for speaking out against prejudice—writes in A Subtle Difference: How to Become a Top Footballer. “This speculation doesn’t matter to me… “I have nothing against homosexuals and I find that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.”

Referencing English player Justin Fashanu, who killed himself in 1998, though, Lahm goes on to write that queer soccer players should keep the closet doors shut.

“I would not advise any gay professional footballer to come out… I would fear that he could end up like Justin Fashanu who, after he outed himself, was driven into such a corner that he ended up committing suicide.” Lahm added that he’d have no problem with a gay teammate.

Even setting aside the fact that Fashanu’s death was nearly 12 years ago—well before bad-ass rugby champ Gareth Thomas announced he was gay—Lahm is just reinforcing the idea that coming out causes problems. Why not say it could be tough but courageous? Or talk about how wrong it is that such an environment exists? Or, we don’t know, keep his mouth shut about matters he insists he has no knowledge of?

Frankly we’re stunned: Who knew the guy could pick his knuckles off the ground and manage to type a whole book?


Image via sdhansay

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