Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

German gay footballer refuses to come out because of safety fears

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Not good enough.

    Has he spoken to the German FA and received an assurance that any player engaging in homophobic behaviour will be banned for life from the football league in Germany?

    I don’t understand people like this player.

    He is a millionaire who can afford security. This is not a luxury enjoyed by teenagers at school.

    Yet THEY can come out.

    This player needst o grow a spine.

    1. Whilst I certainly agree the German FA should be giving assurances to players who may be considering coming out I don’t see that it’s for any of us to call this man a coward or tell him to “grow a spine”. We don’t know his circumstances. Coming out is a personal thing. Yeah there is teenagers at school who come out. yet there will be others who choose not to. Are they also cowards?

      1. We know that he is unimaginably wealthy, that he chooses to be a footballer and that he lacks the will or courage to come out.

        He lives in Germany, not Uganda.

        He should grow a spine.

        There is not valid reason (other than self-interest) for him to stay in the closet.

        People need to stop making excuses for closet cases.

        If you are financially dependent on someone else; or live in a country where you can be fired or jailed for being gay then you have an excuse.

        Otherwise yousimply have excuses.

        1. All the wealth & security in the world will not protect him from snide remarks, fellow players refusing to change or shower with him, internet trolls, etc. Plus sections of the media will jump on him. (Think of Stephen Gateley’s death, and certain columnists using it to peddle hate). Sadly there are homophobes in Germany, as in any nation.
          I’ve had fellow sportsmen say “I’m not showering with you”, and I wasn’t out! It’s humiliating and degrading, not to say insulting.

    2. Geoff Jones 13 Sep 2012, 12:23pm

      Yes, he can afford security, but perhaps he doesn’t want the psychological battering he’d get from bigots and small-minded fools on Twitter/Facebook, fans at matches hurling homophobic insults and even players on his own team who may taunt him in the changing rooms, or outright refuse to shower with him because of his sexuality. Also, the media intrusion into his private life would be even more invasive and potentially destructive to his relationships than it already is. He also will inevitably end up playing matches in countries with homophobic laws and culture, so is at risk of verbal and maybe even physical assaults when he’s off the pitch. It’s not a black and white situation, so perhaps you should be less judgemental.

      1. I just don’t think a millionaire who can afford the best of everything deserves any respect for his choice to remain in the closet.

        Of course it would be difficult for him – but certainly no more difficult than it is for a 16 year old coming out in school.

        There is no reason other than greed or cowardice for an adult millionaire to remain in the closet.

        I hope the press report on his private life in the same manner as they report on a stright person’s

        1. Geoff Jones 13 Sep 2012, 12:46pm

          There are many teenagers who choose to remain in the closet at school/college for fear of homophobic reprisals if they come out. You only have to look at the teen suicide rates that have been attributed to homophobic bullying to see what the psychological effects can be. The football player’s bank balance is irrelevant. There is still currently a lot ofhomophobia inn football, and I completely understand his decision. Particularly in some rougher areas of this country, and no doubt in Germany too, homophobia is rife and phobic attacks are likely. I should think that a lot of players have homophobic views too, which could cause problems, as described in my last post.

          1. Well if he is a millionaire and he is too chicken to come out then clearly he needs to change career.

            Stop making excuses for millionaire remaining in the closet.

          2. Dan Filson 13 Sep 2012, 2:34pm

            A bit rich, some of these comments, coming from folk who don’t post under their true names. Who’s the chicken?

        2. “There is no reason other than greed or cowardice for an adult millionaire to remain in the closet.”

          If he was disowned by his team, his family, his friends, subjected to verbal and/or physical abuse, found himself unable to play the game he loves and has spent his entire life training and honing his skills for, I don’t think the ability to go out and buy himself a shiny new sports car would make up for that somehow.

          Coming out is difficult, some do it, some don’t. Wealth has no relevance.

        3. Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t conquer fear of judgement, abuse or attack. I would like to see him come out. And, as someone who could be a role model for kids and other fearful gays and lesbians, he perhaps has a greater responsibility to do so. My guess though, is that compassionate encouragement will be more likely to draw him out of the closet than will high-handed judgement.

          1. “Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t conquer fear of judgement, abuse or attack”

            Thank you – at least you accept that his decision to cower in his closet is based on fear, and nothing else.

            There is no valid reason for a financially secure adult who lives in a country with anti-discrimination laws to remain in the closet.

          2. Isolation? Or can his money somehow solve that problem too?

          3. No but it can help him move to a career where he does not have to hide like a coward

          4. Life apparently seems so easy for you, dAVID. But for once it might be wiser to avoid speculating about this individual’s character and, for that matter, his “unimaginable” wealth since you don’t even know who he is.

    3. You swap places with this player dAVID and see if you are man enough to come out in football world?

      I am sure that you would remain in the closet until after your playing days are over!

    4. I don’t blame him at all. It would be a media circus and his life would turn upside down. He wouldn’t even be able to concentrate on his football anymore, never mind his personal life. He’s in the public eye and would get the lot. You aren’t.

      There is an idea that could possibly work to change professional football, and that would be to set up an anonymous gay professional footballer association. If they could do that and then reach a decision as a group where many of them (not all) choose to come out at the same time, then that would make it harder for the media and various bigoted football fans to put all the attention on the shoulders of one player. It’s not a perfect idea, but I’d much rather see something positive like that in numbers than witness again what happened to Justin Fashanu. That poor guy was hounded to death.

    5. David Waite 13 Sep 2012, 9:17pm

      You should grow a brain. You should grow a heart. You should put your body where your loose lips are by offering to take his lumps when he is attacked. You should do us all a huge favor by disappearing from these threads forever. You should develop the empathy to know that fellow gays think you a detestable git, a keyboard-brave poseur, a mean-spirited self-hating humourless creep with enough swinishness to futter a herd of sows and father a farrow on each. Pink News should grow the awareness that would let them realize you are an awful damage to their brand, and ban you for life, along with any future re-brandings and appearances.
      None of these fantastic and fantastically desirable things will happen, so please continue to enjoy a measure of the daily misery you bring to all others by your continued existence. If the angel of death approached me with a choice between eternity with you or eternity in hell with Lucifer I’d pick Old Scratch hands down.

  2. Well footballers don’t have to come out the closet to actually fight homophobia. Joey Barton did – so why can’t more speak out?

    1. BTW – I’m not suggesting Joey Barton is gay.

      1. I saw that documentary by John Fashanu’s daughter. Joey gained so much respect from me. He had the balls to stand up against the haters, while John F. was too much of a coward to defend his late brother. Joey is not gay, but someone close (family member? can’t recall) came out, and Joey stood by him and defended him.

  3. This kind of coming out has to be co-ordinated. There is many more LGBT Players out there. They need a coming out day when say 6 or more players come out on one day. That would distract the medias attention. And once the glass ceiling is broken maybe it would be easier in future for gay footballers to come out.

    1. Staircase2 13 Sep 2012, 3:42pm

      Lovely idea – but it just ain’t going to happen…

      These guys are too fearful of what people think of them (either because of fears over career damage or physical or verbal abuse and harm)

      Ultimately they need to figure out that self respect matters far more than any of that – truth is, they’re pampered into staying inside the closet.

      The FA (which so far has effectively done, ironically enough, FA) should be taking a lead, but because it too is stuffed to the gills of closet cases and rabid homophobes (sometimes one and the same) its failing to do anything.

      Enlightened players like Beckham and Barton help enormously with their casual approach to homosexuality and their support of equality issues, but ultimately coming out should not be, nor is, the responsibility of straight team mates…it’s down to the gay players themselves?

  4. So this player wants the wealth and adulation of being a professional footballer but does not want to deal with any negative consequences of being honest about who he is.

    No-one is forcing him to be a footballer.

    He is unimaginably wealthy as a result of being able to run fast and kick a ball.

    I don’t have much sympathy for his decision to remain closet case.

    1. What does his wealth have to do with this? Rich or poor, coming out is a difficult process and can have some terrible consequences. Not all of which can be solved just because he has money?

      1. dAVID is obsessed with those in the public eye who are gay and have not come out. He fails to understand that coming out, whoever you are, is a personal thing and will have consequences.

        The football world is notoriously homophobic as we all know. I bet he would not be too quick to come out himself if he were a professional player.

    2. Why do you have what can be described as a hatred for him? Would you feel the same if he was a factory worker, who could be bullied outta his job, doing what he loves and potential loose his friends and family? Just cus he’s a footballer does not mean that he’s not entitled to personal life. It stated that he has had past relationships, and a female friend does pretend to be his partner, so he’s not completely in the closet, in time he might make it public knowledge, but till then his personal life is that personal!

    3. @dAVID

      > “I don’t have much sympathy for his decision to remain closet case.”

      That’s a bit rich coming from someone who hides behind a pen name !

      If you feel so strongly, why don’t you be honest about who YOU are by posting under your real name? :-)

  5. Staircase2 13 Sep 2012, 3:36pm

    It’s all about balls (and the lack thereof…)

    The fear of coming out is always far greater than the reality (and is distorted thru the lens of fear and secrecy inside the closet)

    Ultimately someone just has to be man enough to stand up and say ‘this is who I am’ – ironically this has traditionally been left to the drag queens…

    Football has created a niche cul-de-sac for itself inside societies which are arguably generally quite comfortable with diversity of sexuality among its citizens.

    It’s simple: SOMEONE just has to DO IT – waiting for the perfect conditions or for everyone else to come out first simply ain’t going to happen. They’re going to be stuck in closet limbo forever at that rate…

    Man up for fcvks sake and JUST DO IT (in the immortal words of Nike…)

    1. David Waite 13 Sep 2012, 9:38pm

      Lead us, Staircase2, by example. Start posting under your legal name. Add your place of employment, and invite us to verify that you are out to your employer, colleagues, all your friends, your entire family, your butcher, your baker, your candlestick condom maker, your vicar and your local council estates gang. And although we all trust a man of such raw and uncompromising courage, rest assured some of us will verify, with all of them. Until you and dAVID are ready to eschew anonymity that completely, neither of you is any sort of profile in courage. Man up?? You two wouldn’t know manhood if it bit you on your undesirable tuchises.

  6. Just been reading the comments… am i the one of the only ones with sympathy for the man? He has a point, it can be dangerous, especially for a sports star. Personally, i think he should come out, but i understand why he’s chosing not to xx

    1. You’re certainly not the only one. In fact I think most posters here have sympathy for him. Before I even opened the comments section I knew dAVID would leading the hateful and cruel charge of “cowardice” etc. Beyond the angry extremists like dAVID most of us here tend to quite sane, sensible and pragmatic.

    2. No, you’re definitely not the only one, Naomi. The unsympathetic views one person expressed stridently (and at rather tiresome length) on this thread do not speak for us all.

  7. It’s sad to think that there probably won’t be an out gay top league footballer within the next 10 years or more. Perhaps when this latest hubbub of gay marriage is settled and people become more accustomed to men having husbands it will go some way towards easing homophobia.

  8. Football needs to grow up!!! High time FIFA declared a life-ban for anyone guilty of bullying or harrassment, or anyone committing what would be classed in the UK as a hate crime! Pious words from officialdom just won’t do any more!!

  9. Wow a lot of judgmental haters on this board the man is a German professional football player! In Germany, football stars are heroes, this man is fearful of his safety he doesn’t want to be harassed. I can understand this man’s fears. I cannot believe some gay men are actually attacking the man because of his concerns. Shame on you haters!

  10. You should read the part where he says:

    “Just to go openly with a potential partner to a restaurant. That’s a dream.”

    That broke my heart…

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all