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Sir Ian McKellen slams England manager who thinks he’s never met a gay player

Nick Duffy November 2, 2014

Sir Ian McKellen has rebuked England manager Roy Hodgson, after he claimed he didn’t know any players who might come out as gay.

The football coach, who had managed the England squad since 2012, was asked recently whether football could do more to help LGBT players – but didn’t know what the acronym meant.

Mr Hodgson reportedly had to have the acronym – which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender – explained to him, before answering: “It’s not my world.”

He continued: “I haven’t come across any players who would even arouse my suspicion that they would like to come out but are fearful of doing so.

“I haven’t come across any players who’ve found themselves in that position.”

Speaking to the Guardian, the X-Men actor – who was this week awarded Freedom of the City of London – said: “That man is not living in the real world.

“He’s too absorbed in his own world, and clearly it’s a world in which to be gay is not an easy thing. Five hundred professional soccer players in this country and not one of them out?

“What is going to make the FA face up to the responsibilities of the people it’s looking after?

“Premiership clubs: what is their problem? They’re living in the past. They’re so old-fashioned. They come out on the fields as if they are somehow champions of the world.

“They’re not. They are way back in the 19th century.”

“It is astonishing that all that work is going on in schools, supported by the Government, and then kids go home, watch television and see no evidence of it in sport.”

More: England, football, Gay, Homophobia, roy hodgson, sir ian mckellen, Sport features

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