Gay footballer says he will come out publicly in the next three weeks
An English Championship footballer is going to come out as gay before the start of the next season, according to statements from an anonymous Twitter account called The Gay Footballer.
The Gay Footballer’s bio reads, “I’m a professional footballer, currently playing in the Championship. I will reveal my identity soon, but I am a PROUD gay man.”
If true, once the player comes out he will be the first openly gay active British footballer.
In a statement posted yesterday (July 15), the player says his intention is to come out publicly “as soon as possible.”
“Whilst no exact date has been finalised, I am looking at going public prior to the start of the new season,” the statement says.
The Championship season starts on August 2.
The Gay Footballer’s statement said that he had met with his club to discuss coming out, and he’d been “delighted by how receptive they are to the issue.”
“The club have instinctively viewed the issue in human terms, their support has focused on that first and foremost. Any pre-existing concerns I had in this regard have been alleviated as a result of the support that has been evident.”
An update following my meeting with the club on Sunday. Thank you to all of you that have shown your support so far ❤ pic.twitter.com/yRZrgXG5e6
— The Gay Footballer (@FootballerGay) July 15, 2019
Gay Footballer given advice by rugby’s Nigel Owens
Although there have been some questions over the accounts legitimacy, gay rugby referee Nigel Owens, who came out 10 years ago, had some advice for The Gay Footballer.
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“Rugby is an inclusive sport, people have come out and been able to get on with their careers like myself,” Owens said.
“Everybody is now waiting to see what happens in football and that probably is hindering the individual from coming out.
“Everybody, particularly the tabloids, Press and media are all waiting to see how the footballing world is going to react to this person, whoever it may be.
“Put all that into context and for this individual he knows when he announces his name, whichever way he’s going to do it this week, every social media platform, every radio and television station, every tabloid and newspaper, possibly the front and back pages, is going to run the story who he is.
“Particularly if he is a very well-known footballer as well.
“For you to be that person, the first one to dip your toe in the water in the footballing world is going to bring a lot of media attention and a lot of pressure on you.
“You have to be a certain type of person to cope with that as well,” Owens said.