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German FA head: Gay players should have ‘courage’ to come out

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  1. I know if I wanted advice on coming out I’d go to some straight guy. Stay out of matters you know very little about, Zwanziger.

  2. Meaningless nonsense from the head of the German FA – nothing but damage control to distract attention from the fact that the captain of the German football team – Philipp Lahm – is a bigotted pig who brings the name of football into disrepute for attempting to justify the institutional racism and homophobia of football, by blaming the fans.

    What has Zwanziger done as the head of the German FA to ensure that a gay player will not be abused for coming out.

    What punishment is Lahm to face for his justification of racism and homophobia?

    Is Lahm to be removed as both captain and player of the German team, for bringing the reputation of football into disrepute.

    Is there a zero-tolerance policy towards homophobia on both the terraces and the football teams of Germany?

    If not then why not?

    1. So dAVID, given that Lahm made those statements and that Zwanziger was speaking at a seminar on homophobia in football, I think his comments are entirely appropriate (indeed they may have happened regardless of Lahm’s comments).

      I do not think Zwanziger should necessarily have made a comment on any disciplinary action unilaterally at a seminar. That surely is a matter for the conduct committee of the German FA …

      1. Stu – you should get off the fence for once in your life.

        Zwanziger’s comments are meaningless PR – he is simply saying ‘Be brave and come out but don’t expect any support from either me or the German FA’.

        Zwanziger does not state what actual plan he has to address homophobia in football. What has Zwanziger as head of the German FA actually done to enforce a zero-tolerance policy towards homophobia among players and fans?

        Why nothing of course.

        If Philipp Lahm ‘s comments were about race then Zwanziger would have been very quick to condemn him.

        Zwanziger’s comments are meaningless PR.

        (And please under no circumstances reply to this message by repeating what I have said and then try to claim that Zwanziger’s attitudes are acceptable. You really seem to bend over backwards to excuse bigotry and stupidity when there is no need to do so.)

        1. Are you familiar with the work of the German FA? This article is only in relation to comments he’s made at
          a seminar focusing on sexuality within sport. To condemn their entire FA as doing nothing seems a bit sweeping unless you are fully involved in the corridors of the German FA. At least he’s out there talking about it. What has the head of the Scottish or English FA had to say recently about homophobia?

        2. @dAVID

          If I oppose you – which I do vehemently on this issue – how the hell can I be sitting on the fence ..

          Since you seem prepared to misrepresent anyone who disagrees with you on anything – lets try and make it perfectly clear what I think on this subject …

          Theo Zwanziger was at a seminar that was arranged prior to the comments in Westdeutsche Algemeine Zeitung by Philip Lahm. The seminar was about tackling homophobia in football. Zwanziger has made repeated comments that it is time that football seriously tackles homophobia. The fact he is actively participating in a seminar on this with media presence demonstrates that he as President of the German Football Federation regards the issue with seriousness.

          As for discipline … there has been no mention of whether or not action is being considered, but my understanding of how Germany handles such discipline is that it is often not in the face of mass publicity (as in England) … It also is not a unilateral deciison …

          1. … for Zwanziger to make – it is a matter to be dealt with not is the heat of the comments being made but fairly and by the appointed people (unlikely to be the FA President) charged with making disciplinary judgements – if one is chosen to be made (for clarity – I would agree there should be disciplinary action).

            My understanding is that the seminar was to propose a robust action plan for the German FA to further tackle homophobia. I understand that a 17 point proposal has been taken away to discuss with other interested parties (eg players union, fan groups, individual clubs) and then for this to be actioned within 3-4 months. As for your claim he is not doing anything – I think you are completely off the mark and shouting about an issue without knowing the full facts.

            If my position is still sitting on the fence – then you need to reassess your definition of that because I could not be at a more ppolar opposite position in terms of my views on the reasonableness of Zwanziger.

  3. Football is like the church. Join at your own risk and don’t say you didn’t know

    1. Football is a sport.

      Other sports (even traditionally macho sports like rugby and hurling) have dealt quite easily with having a top player come out while at the top of his career.

      The meme which is trotted out over and over and over again is as follows:

      “A football player cannot come out as he would face endless abuse from the fans.”

      This is a lazy lie that serves no purpose other than to absolve the FA from actually dealing with homophobia in football.

      Football fans are not any more homophobic than rugby or hurling fans.

      Football fans APPEAR more homophobic as the FA does f*** all to enforce a zero-tolerance policy of homophobia,.

      The FA in Britain is a bigotted disgrace.

      Do they even have an official policy to deal with homophobia by players and fans. If so then why are they not enforcing it?

      Has Philipp Lahm been sacked from the German football team for justifying homophobia yet?

      If not then why not?

      1. Honestly, get off your high horse. As much as we might disagree with Lahm, everyone is entitled to freedom of speech and part of what he says is to protect other players. He has said that he personally would not have a problem with a gay teammate but it is what the fans might do. Did you see some of the posters the Schalke fans held for Manuel Neuer at the Bayern vs Schalke match at the Veltins arena??? And Neuer is a straight player. Imagine what that would be like week in week out for an openly gay player? No action was taken against the Schalke fans, so what guarantee would they have that the DFB would protect them? How could the DFB even fully protect them? I wish a couple high profile retired players would come out so then some current players might feel more comfortable coming out.

        1. Philipp Lahm has freedom of speech.

          He was entirely free to articulate his stupid, ill-informed, moronic and offensive comments about gay players.

          And I have the freedom of speech to ask that he be sacked from his position for bringing the game of football into disrepute. Finding justification for homophobia renders Lahm unfit for purpose as a professional sports player.

          He needs to be sacked.

          I want to know what solid plan Zwanziger has to ensure that there is a ZERO tolerance of homophobia in football – both on and off the pitch.

          That’s part of his job and if he is not able to provide it then he’s not fit for purpose for his job either.

          It’s not rocket science – zero-tolerance of racism or homophobia is not an unreasonable demand.

          1. dAVID

            Perhaps you should read and address my comments above based on the facts …

            Of course, you chose fit not to comment on them …

            Zwanziger has a 17 point plan which is being discussed with interested parties for actioning within 3-4 months …

            That sounds like progress to me …

            Zwanziger will not be in role for much longer his tenure is coming to an end within the next year – but he seems strongly determined to make German football less homophobic, but you seem determnined to vilify him despite the evidence being the opposite of what you contend.

          2. Sure, you have the right to ask for him to be sacked, but considering he wasn’t sacked the last two times he voiced his opinion, I highly doubt he will be sacked this time.

            I personally don’t think he should be sacked. He voiced an opinion on whether a gay footballer should come out publically, not whether or not he agrees with homosexuality (which again, he has said he doesn’t have a problem with it). You don’t agree with him, and that is your right, but him voicing this opinion is entirely different than him saying bad things about homosexuals.

            Stu- I haven’t really looked into the DFBs plan but I would be interested in what it entails. Also, I would like to see proof that it will be enforced.

          3. @Hilda

            I have only discussed the DFB plan with a friend who lives in Cologne …

            I shall see if I canget him to send me a link to reference it and post it on here

            I agree that one of the important aspects to the plan will be how it is enforced, although I would like to see more of the detail … Although the fact the it included discipline, education and support in its make up is encouraging …

  4. jamestoronto 18 Jan 2012, 5:46pm

    Just a side note, on this side of the ocean, Brian Burke, President and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, two days ago received an award from PFLAG acknowledging the work he has done to eradicate homophobia in hockey. This is the second time he has been so honoured.

  5. It’s ok for him to join the debate and say gay players should come out and to offer the support of the German FA.

    But it might be more heplful if he offered some assurances about action being taken about homophobic abuse from fans, instead of glibly saying “they would get over it quickly”. Things have moved on since Graeme Le Saux suffered homophobic abuse, but we don’t know how the fans will react until it happens.

    And whoever does it will feel (whether it’s true or not) that he is risking his career. I know they are overpayed yobs and all that, but still – it’s a pretty huge step for an individual to take with all the scrutiny that is bound to follow.

    Hopefully when a gay player does finally come out, there will be a domnio effect (accepting Justin Fashnu was the true first…)

    1. He has offered no assurances however.

      Which makes his comments meaningless PR designed to deflect attention from the moronic bigotry of Philipp Lahm.

      1. He has proposed a 17 point plan … to tackle homophobia and I quote “once and for all”

  6. Lahm was right though. Football isnt ready for us. Theres still too much homophobia and biGotry in society.

    Cant even stop racism which is on the rise again and theyve been working to stop that far longer than the FA has bothered with homophobia.

    I think a positive gay role model in football would be fantastic but until society becomes more accepting i cant see any players being brave enough to be in the line of abuse.

    1. A zero-tolerance approach to homophobia by the FA both on and off the pitch would massively decrease the issue of homophobia in sport.

      It’;s not rocket science.

      What’s the current, official anti-homophobia campaign in the FA?


      You mean there isn’t one?????

      But the FA claims to be anti-homophobia but have done NOTHING to address the issue?

      Sound like they are big, fat (more than likely), institutionally homophobic bigots.

      1. The German FA have proposed one – its the 17 point plan I have mentioned

        As for the English FA … they could be doing a hell of a lot more …

  7. They should but with Germany’s history of treatment of gays I do not know if that is a good idea even today. They have their “ways” you know.

  8. Where has anyone said homophobia is illegal in this story or comments?

    This story is about football, not law …

    In any event, I am sure most people would not want a thought poilice …

    However, most reasonable and fair people would want action against anyone who acts maliciously on such thoughts, incites hatred or perpetuates such hatred …

    Most of your comments are irrelevant to this story and just seeking to perpetuate your outdated rhetoric

    1. Go away Keith

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