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Gay radio host: ‘Footballers should stay in the closet’

Joe Williams November 3, 2016

The Nike match ball infront of rainbow flags during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United at Vitality Stadium on February 24, 2018. (Catherine Ivill/Getty)

A radio host has advised gay footballers not to come out.

A prominent gay radio host has issued a stark warning to closeted football players – “do not come out”.

Pete Price – who hosts a weekly chat show on Liverpool radio stations City Talk 105.9 and Radio City 96.7 – gave the advice in his weekly column for the Liverpool Echo.

After meeting with FA chairman Greg Clarke, the host said he thinks gay footballers would be risking their safety by coming out.

“I know I’m going to be criticised by a lot of people, especially the gay community, for this statement,” he wrote.

“But I would say to any gay footballer (and there are rumours of quite a few), don’t come out.

“I wouldn’t wish the abuse that you would get on my worst enemy.”

Price claimed than any footballer brave enough to come out would be “battered by abuse beyond belief from some vile supporters”.

“I hate saying it, but I will say it again – don’t come out,” he added.

Despite his advice to football stars, Price praised the rugby community for its reaction to out players – such as Keegan Hirst and Gareth Thomas.

“Thank you to all the rugby fans for being open-minded,” he wrote.

“Can’t you teach some of the football supporters who live in the dark ages to start acting like human beings instead of homophobics (sic)?”

The last player to come out in the top tiers of English football was Justin Fashanu, who came out in 1990 but died by suicide in 1998 after years of homophobic abuse and allegations of sexual assault.

Former Leeds United player Robbie Rogers and former Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger have both come out as gay, but only after retiring from the sport.

More: coming out, football, Gay, Liverpool, pete price, UK

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