Premier League star Troy Deeney believes every single football team has at least one gay or bisexual player
Watford captain Troy Deeney has said he believes every Premier League football team has at least one closeted gay or bisexual player.
Speaking on the BBC Sounds podcast Grounded with Louis Theroux, Deeney addressed the complete lack of LGBT+ male footballers in the Premier League.
Asked by Theroux where “all the gay footballers” were, he said: “They’re there. They’re 100 per cent there.”
He added: “I think there is now a bigger platform than ever to be a gay athlete of any nature.
“I always wonder why people finish football, rugby, whatever the sport might be, and then go: ‘I am gay.’ I feel like it must be a real heavy load to carry throughout all your sporting career.”
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Deeney said he understood that anti-LGBT+ bullying could be perceived to be part of football’s “culture”, but added that with wider acceptance of LGBT+ people in society, “now would be the best time.”
Watford captain Troy Deeney said closeted queer footballers don’t want to be the first to come out.
Troy Deeney added: “I think that people who are gay or from the [LGBT+] community don’t want to do is shoulder the responsibility of being the first.
“I think once the first comes out, there will be loads.”
He said if, for example, Cristiano Ronaldo were to come out as gay: “In the first week you’d get a hundred people that said ‘me too’. They just don’t want to be the face of it.”
“I would go on record saying there’s probably one gay or bi person in every football team… the law of averages would suggest there’s got to be at least one gay footballer that’s actively playing.”
While there are several out high-profile female players, only one footballer has ever come out while playing for the England’s professional men’s league.
Justin Fashanu confirmed his sexuality in 1990, but struggled to cope with the pressures of tabloid attention and a backlash from fans. He eventually took his own life in 1998.