German FA head: Gay players should have ‘courage’ to come out
The head of the German Football Association has again urged gay professional football players to come out.
Theo Zwanziger spoke during a discussion on Tuesday at the Sportschule Hennef, which was centered on sexuality within professional sports.
Zwanziger said that the situation is now the best ever for gay footballers and that they should take the “courage to declare themselves.”
This statement comes just days after the German football captain, Philipp Lahm, told press “society cannot accept gay footballers”.
Lahm, also the captain of Bayern Munich, went on to say, “Sure, politicians can now come out as homosexuals. But they don’t have to play in front of 60,000 spectators week after week,” according to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.
66-year-old Zwanziger made another pro-gay statement last year, reportedly promising the support of the German Football Association to any player wishing to come out.
Zwanziger is not the only German football figure encouraging players to come out. In 2011, Bayern Munich goalkeeper, Maunel Neuer, told Bunte that professional footballers should not fear coming out.
He said, “Those who are homosexual should say so. That would take a load off their minds. And the fans would get over it quickly.
“What is important to them is the performances on the pitch of the player, not his sexual preferences.”
Fellow Munich player, Mario Gomez told press in 2010, “Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic.”
There are currently only two openly gay professional footballers in the world, Anton Hysen and David Testo, neither of whom is German.