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Two top Premier League footballers ‘ready to come out as gay’

Joe Williams October 24, 2015
Feet and football

One of the men is also believed to be an England international player.

Two top footballers are ready to come out as gay, according to today’s (October 24) Mirror.

If the players reveal themselves, then this could mark a landmark moment in British football history – as they will become the first openly gay footballers since Justin Fashanu.

A source said: “The stigma has completely gone, and the public are far more accepting.

“At this level of football, being gay is almost the final frontier.”

“It has always been such a macho game and, unfortunately, perhaps more than in any other sport, there can be an aggressive mob mentality in the stands,” the source said.

“But finally the tide is turning and more and more sports people are openly gay.”

The two players – including an England international – have told family and friends, and are being supported by their clubs and the Football Association.

Last year, retired former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger made headlines around the world, after he revealed he is gay to a German newspaper.

“For me it would have been almost impossible had I still been playing – not because of the fans or the other players, but because of the media.

“In an ideal world it shouldn’t (matter) but we’re in 2014 and we’re still talking about it.”

Justin Fashanu was the first professional footballer in Britain to come out, in 1990, before he took his own life eight years later, aged 37.

Swedish lower league player Anton Hysen – son of former Liverpool defender Glenn Hysen – came out in an interview with a Swedish football magazine in 2011.

Former Leeds and US winger Robbie Rogers came out as gay and quit English football in February 2013.

He later reversed his decision to quit the game and signed for LA Galaxy – but as of yet Rogers has no plans to return to the English league, having previously feared the ramifications of coming out.

“I don’t know if football is such a homophobic environment,” Hitzlsperger said. “People just speculate this would be the case.

“Since we haven’t seen a gay footballer in the Premier League or the Bundesliga, it’s hard to say that this would happen. We would have to wait and see.”

“Gay football players are invisible. There are none we know of and that’s why I don’t know how people will react to it.”

Other UK sports – such as rugby – are proving ever more accepting of gay players, with players Keegan Hirst and Sam Stanley coming out in recent months to universal praise.

In addition, Olympic hopeful Tom Bosworth came out last week on The Victoria Derbyshire Show.

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