The two players would be the first players to publicly announce they are gay while in the top flight of English football. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address. Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter. The Independent would like to keep you informed about offers, events and updates by email, please tick the box if you would like to be contacted Read our full mailing list consent terms here. Show comments. I will be revealing my identity soon, but I am a proud gay man, hoping to break the mould. I am under the age of 23, and today I came out to my family.
There are no active professional male footballers in England who are openly gay. Liked the article? Help us fight click-bait content:. Football Paradise Staff Reporter Serving quality football news from around the globe. No click-bait.
Thank you to all those who have sent supportive messages. Please be patient with me. LGBTQtogether pic. While the tweets have received a largely positive response, the account holder did flag up some abuse aimed at him since it was opened. Former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger is one of the most high-profile figures to come out as gay in recent times.
The ex-Germany international had already retired before making his sexuality public, with the player purportedly behind the Gay Footballer account claiming to be under the age of 23 as he prepares to follow suit. I will be revealing my identity soon, but I am a proud gay man, hoping to break the mould. Tuchel 'wants to bring PSG youngster to Chelsea'. Klopp 'makes Raphinha number one attacking target'. Tuchel hands Kepa a "new start" at Chelsea. Click for more trending news.
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|Gay footballers betting||Online bookmaker Win Cash Live has been criticised after offering odds on which England footballer gay footballers betting to announce that they are gay. Gay footballers betting - prediction, team news, lineups. Barca scout confirms club are interested in Bryan Gil. The Independent would like to keep you informed about offers, events and updates by email, please tick the box if you would like to be contacted Read our full mailing list consent terms here. Please be patient with me. Following the news, the bookmaker decided to allow punters to guess who the footballers could be, which has been met by disgust from gay rights organisation Stonewall. LGBTQtogether pic.|
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As one club told me: "If you want to effect cultural change around a sensitive issue, you don't join up with Paddy Power. Stonewall's media manager, Richard Lane responded: "Homophobia in football is a tough nut to crack. Paddy Power has a huge reach, their style is cheeky and authentic to them and can get through to fans and clubs. The attention it's receiving means it's starting debates and that can only be a good thing. Clubs though, genuinely believe they needed more time, with proper consultation, to be able to give the campaign the support it deserves.
Clubs have described feeling 'fearful' that if their players do not wear the laces, they will be condemned as homophobic. Of the Premier League clubs I received calls back from, most supported the principle of the campaign, with nine saying they have made their players aware of the laces and have "left it up to them" as to whether they will wear them. But other clubs have confirmed they will not be taking part at all - Manchester United and Liverpool - with at least three others I have spoken to expected to follow suit.
A Liverpool club spokesperson said: "The underlying message of the campaign is a good one but we have taken the decision not to participate and our players and staff will continue to support our existing programmes. Similarly West Ham players have been wearing the laces in training but will not be wearing them against Everton. After consulting the players, the club felt boots on a match day were a personal thing and this was the best way of showing they support the campaign without disrupting a player's preparation.
Sunderland have also stressed that while they "wholeheartedly support" the underlying message behind the campaign, they were "not entirely comfortable with the third party commercial link to this initiative and were also disappointed that there was no prior consultation with clubs as we could have offered useful input". And Tottenham told me that while the message is one they support, the lack of prior consultation meant there are too many issues "in respect of third party commercial entities", adding: "We have contacted Stonewall directly to let them know we are keen to discuss ways in which we can work together going forward.
Kick it Out, the anti-discrimination campaigners, have worked with clubs now for 20 years. They know first hand of the difficulties involved with effecting change in football and expressed concern they were not brought on board. If they had have been consulted, they believe they could have used their influence with clubs to take a more sensitive approach, meaning they might well have been more receptive rather than the way some feel now - "ambushed by a betting company's marketing ploy.
There is understandable frustration within Stonewall though, and in the further lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LBGT community, that football is dragging its heels on this. After all, as one activist told me, how much of a heads-up do you need to change laces?
Today, I received a press release from a PR agency on behalf of one firm, announcing it was taking bets on the identity of two England football players who are rumoured to be about to come out as gay. I thought it was a hoax. Then I remembered that, in this post-modern, social media, how-many-hot-takes-can-you-write-on-one-issue world, the difference between a Hoax and A Publicity Stunt is whether anyone pays it any attention. So far, no media have reported on it. The firm, which I'd rather not name, said in its press release that no one else was offering odds on this.
We're all thinking it, so why not win money from it? But suggesting that you can guess a person's sexuality from other behaviour is poisonous, particularly for men, who seem far less inclined to discuss their sexuality publicly. People are often keen to claim they "know" when someone is not straight. It's as if the best way to demonstrate their comfort with people being gay - another trope of the times we live in - is to boast about how well they can suss it out before it is common knowledge.
The fact that certain behaviour, which has nothing to do with sex, is associated who you like to go to bed with is profoundly sad. Assuming someone is straight is no less presumptuous than presuming they are not. People should be able to do what they want without raising people's suspicions about who they really are. The only way to know a person's sexuality is to discuss it with them.
This applies to your best friend as much as it does a group of the best-paid men in the country, whose personal lives are probably under much closer examination than your best friend's. One England footballer has already had to tweet that he's not about to come out.
I'm not going to say 'this has to stop'. I'm not going to start a Change.