Chelsea and England footballer Ruben Loftus-Cheek has denied rumours that he’s gay.
The Premier League player addressed mounting speculation about his sexuality—whose source is unclear—on Wednesday (January 16).
“But the rumour isn’t true 😅.”
Any player who came out as gay, they’d have my full support and respect 👊🏾. But the rumour isn’t true 😅
— Ruben Loftus-Cheek (@rubey_lcheek) January 16, 2019
Chelsea player Ruben Loftus-Cheek praised for response to gay rumours
The footballer’s announcement, with its message of acceptance for gay players, was met with a shower of praise from fans.
Many Chelsea followers told their midfielder that his sexuality didn’t matter either way, and that all they cared about was that he played well for their club.
“Doesn’t matter if you are or not just as long as you play well on the pitch”
— @cfcpep about Ruben Loftus-Cheek
One wrote: “You shouldn’t even need to squash these rumour really. It doesn’t matter if you was and silly that people would make this claim just for a few RTs and likes.”
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Another said: “No need to rise to it Ruben, doesn’t matter if you are or not just as long as you play well on the pitch 👍.”
And a different Chelsea fan tweeted: “Anyone is entitled to be who they want. The world would be a better place if this was respected.”
Supporters from other teams showed their approval too, with a Paris Saint-Germain supporter writing: “Classy reply, love how you handled things 👍.”
This sentiment was repeated by Manchester United fans who tweeted “a classy answer” and “this is class RLC 👍” in response to Loftus-Cheek.
And an Everton supporter wrote: “Doesn’t matter even if it was mate.👍”
This was a welcome response, considering that players like his fellow Chelsea teammate Olivier Giroud, as well as Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Danny Welbeck have all recently spoken out about homophobia in football.
Speaking in September, Bellerin said fans were “not ready” for a gay male footballer.
Earlier this month, a Chelsea fan was banned from attending football matches for three years after admitting shouting homophobic abuse during the December 16 match between Chelsea F.C. and Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.