Closeted footballer: Teammates refused to shower naked after they found out I was gay
An anonymous gay footballer has spoken about his decision to remain in the closet, claiming his teammates refused to shower naked once they discovered his sexuality.
Speaking to Deutche Welle, the anonymous German footballer, going by the pseudonym Nico, said: “”When you play well in a game and the crowd starts cheering your name, there’s no better feeling.
“It wasn’t worth throwing that and ten years of training away just because I like men and not women.
“By chance the team I was in found out that I was gay.
“After a training session I walked into the shower and I realised 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.
“That showed me that being gay just isn’t accepted in football. And that won’t change in the near future.”
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Nico, who currently plays in Germany’s Under 19 Bundesliga, said that conditions had gotten worse after former West Ham and Everton player Thomas Hitzlperger came out.
He said: “After Thomas Hitzlsperger’s coming out we hoped that there would be some changes, but I think it has become worse.
“The media had been giving positive reports but you have to differentiate between the media and the situation on the pitch.
“As a homosexual player, I feel Hitzlsperger’s coming out has encouraged the right-wing. Homophobia in the stands has got worse.
“In the last few weeks, homophobic chants could be heard in Bundesliga stadiums again. Coming out is far more difficult when you are insulted on the pitch.
“There are the usual sayings … ‘you faggot!’ These are things that won’t change.
“But it is difficult to blank out such things when you hear them every day. That’s the problem.”