A Twitter account named ‘The Gay Footballer’ claims to be an under-23 Championship player who will come out publicly in the near future.
It was created last week, prior to the weekend’s London Pride march, and has since been followed by over 18,000 users.
There are no active professional male footballers in England who are openly gay, former footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger came out a year after he retired.
Justin Fashanu was the only active footballer to have revealed he was gay, though he ended up committing suicide at the age of 37 in 1998.
I'm a professional footballer, playing for a club in the @SkyBetChamp. 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. Soon, I will come out publicly. #loveislove #Pride #LGBT pic.twitter.com/CFzvOQ5Q1L
— The Gay Footballer (@FootballerGay) July 5, 2019
The statement from @FootballerGay read: “This afternoon I requested a meeting with both my manager and the club chairman.
“At this meeting I revealed to both gentlemen that I am a homosexual man, I explained that I had only yesterday came out to my family.
“I sought advice from both men regarding the fact that I not only want to, but will, come out publicly as a proud, confident gay professional footballer.
“I was anxious prior to the meeting about the response that I would get, but as both men, and as a club, they have assured me that they will do absolutely everything to support me in this process.
“The club have asked me to give full consideration in regards to the timing of my revelation, along with how I feel best to do so.
“We have arranged another meeting for Sunday 14th July to discuss my thoughts and next steps.
“The chairman will be arranging full support from those within the club, and external assistance to prepare me for this, inclusive of ensuring I have the right level of support prior to, at the time, and after my public revelation.
“I asked questions regarding my place in the first-team squad for this coming season, and my involvement in pre-season training and friendly matches.
“I have been given full assurance that none of those will be in any way impacted by what I have disclosed privately to them, or the forthcoming public announcement.
“As it currently stands, once I have taken the time to give full consideration to how and when I am to make it public, a press conference will be organised by the club, with invitations to be made in due course to both local and national press.
“I thank those of you that have given me support and best wishes so far, and I hope to have that continued support, I will need it.”
Unfortunately, he has had some abused, which disappointingly still happens in this day and age.
A huge % of the interactions I've had have been positive. I completely understand the scepticism, but once I've gone public, hopefully those sceptics will at least be respectful. Tweets like this however are why this situation has to be handled carefully, for myself and my club. pic.twitter.com/FWTXaxwNfM
— The Gay Footballer (@FootballerGay) July 6, 2019
A huge amount of people came across the account and wished him well, though some were rather sceptical it was a ‘real’ and not a hoax – check out what they had to say on the next page.Like what the Fan Banter have on offer? Sign up for more Championship notifications!