Bookmaker opens betting on which England star is gay after rumours
A betting site is allowing people to put money on which member of the England squad is gay – after a report suggested one team member is preparing to come out.
The Mirror reported over the weekend that two Premiership stars are currently preparing to come out as gay, including a member of the England team.
The newspaper reported that the pair have already told their friends, family and teammates, and are making final preparations with their clubs and the FA.
However, the reports prompted rampant speculation, with England left-back Luke Shaw forced to deny that he is planning to come out.
Amid the speculation, one betting site has even put up odds on a player coming out as gay, and is taking bets on the subject.
The site, which PinkNews will not identify, asked: “The papers reckon an England footballer is going to come out as gay. Fancy a bet on who it’ll be?”
The player would have to come out before September 1 2016 in order for a payout.
A spokesman for Stonewall warned: “Homophobia in sport is a real issue that should not be cashed in on and trivialized.”
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However the site’s owner Ashley Faull, insisted it was not offensive.
He told the Mail: “We think it is a shame that the culture in football has made it so difficult for gay players to come out.
“We do not want to cause offense and are not seeking to trivialize the coming out of a gay England footballer, but it is the kind of high profile unpredictable market which customers would expect us to offer odds on.”
Last year, retired former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger made headlines around the world, after he revealed he is gay to a German newspaper.
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.