International

Gay players could come out together - FA chief

2017-01-09 14:52
English FA (File)

London - England's Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has spoken to gay footballers and suggested a group of them could come out together, he said in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

Homosexuality is seen as professional football's last taboo and Justin Fashanu, who committed suicide in 1998, remains the only player to have come out while playing top-level football in England.

Clarke said last year he "wouldn't recommend" a footballer coming out because of the risk they would face abuse, but he believes several players coming out at the same time could be a solution.

"I put the message out there that if a number of top-level pros want to come out, why don't we synchronise it? So one person doesn't have to come out on their own," he told The Times.

"The Premier League, the Football League and the FA could do it at the start of the season. At the start of the season everybody thinks it is their season, the crowds are happy, the sun is shining."

Clarke revealed he has spoken to gay sportspeople, including footballers, to discuss the best way forward.

"I've been asking the gay community, 'How can we provide more support and orchestrate it so that people get the right level of support if people want to be open about their sexuality?'" he said.

"I've met 15 gay sports people in the last four weeks to ask their views, including footballers.

"It is very difficult to get to a representative set of gay top-level footballers because some of them are happy with their sexuality and just don't want anyone to know.

"I don't want to be part of a process that says, 'You've got to come out.' That's not right. People are cautious. It's a one-way street. Once you're out of the closet, you're out."

Read more on:    fa  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.