A heartfelt moment that an English footballer reveals to his team he’s bisexual has gone viral across various social media sites this week.
On Tuesday evening, 24 year old former Crystal Palace youngster turned Sheppey United defender Jahmal Howlett-Mundle took the decision to reveal to his teammates he was coming out.
He made the tough decision to do what is unfortunately still very difficult to do for many in the fear of upsetting others or getting abuse in the stands or online.
— Sheppey United FC (@SheppeyUFC) July 27, 2021
“I’m not the type of person to reveal large parts of my personal life and usually keep myself to myself. I certainly felt it was the right time to be honest with myself and my loved ones and by being open about my sexuality, maybe it will give others the confidence to follow suit,” he said to the Sheppey United website.
“Football still has room for improvement in terms of players coming out and being themselves, but with the likes of Thomas Hitzlsperger and Thomas Beattie having done so, it’s slowly starting to evolve. We have seen other sports people like Gareth Thomas (Rugby) and Tom Daley (Diving) come out years ago and they are great role models for people like me.
“I believe I’ll be a better version of the Jahmal you already know. Whatever anyone’s sexuality, you should not be treated any differently – I’m just as hungry as any other player to step onto the football pitch and give my all to win for our team and our supporters”.
“I always wished I had somebody that looked like me, that grew up where I grew up and played football to look up to when I was younger” said Jahmal.
Upon speaking to Marcel Nimani, Sheppey United Assistant Manager, Marcel had nothing but praise for the defender. “Jahmal is a great footballer and leader for us on the pitch and an inspirational influencer off the field. In the 21st century, sexual orientation of a person is a normal existence in our society, but unfortunately in football it’s not quite the case. Bravery acts like Jahmal’s play a massive part in normalising members of the LGBTQIA+ community within football. I believe these acts go a long way in supporting many struggling sports people.
“I thank Jahmal for the trust that he has put into our club and we as a club are fully supportive of Jahmal in what is an emotional time for him.”
To finish up, Jahmal was thankful to all at Sheppey United, saying: “I’m overwhelmed by the support I’ve received by my teammates and the staff here at Sheppey United since I told them the news. The club have been great in supporting me and I look forward to having a great season with them as we look to start our promotion push at the weekend.”
Howlett-Mundle’s career so far
19/20 – Jan 1, 2020 – Lewisham Borough to Sheppey United – free transfer
19/20 Nov 1, 2019 – Hastings United to Lewisham Borough
18/19 Jul 1, 2018 – Kingstonian to Hastings United – free transfer
17/18 Oct 27, 2017 – Whitehawk to Kingstonian – free transfer
16/17 Feb 3, 2017 – Dover Athletic to Whitehawk
16/17 Jan 30, 2017 – Canvey Island to Dover Athletic – End of loan
16/17 Dec 30, 2016 – Dover Athletic to Canvey Island – loan transfer
16/17 Aug 5, 2016 – Heart of Midlothian FC U20 to Dover Athletic – free transfer
15/16 Dec 3, 2015 – Montrose to Heart of Midlothian FC U20 – End of loan
15/16 Nov 5, 2015 – Heart of Midlothian FC U20 to Montrose – loan transfer
15/16 Jul 1, 2015 – Crystal Palace U18 to Heart of Midlothian FC
Fans reacted as the English footballer reveals to his team he’s bisexual in a heartfelt moment…
On behalf of everyone at the Sheppey United Independent Supporters Association we stand with Jahmal and offer him our support. pic.twitter.com/B42eDsLjgd
— Mark Soave (@markjsoave) July 27, 2021
@FcSheppey: What a great young man Jahmal really is. From all in the clubs youth section 👏👏 and we all support you and are proud to be involved in this club, which supports all those in here as part of the Sheppey united community 🔴⚪🔴
@SeagullSimon: Well done Jamal. It’s great to see you feel comfortable enough to come out to the rest of your teammates, and the rest of the world. Let’s hope you inspire many more to do the same. Proud of you. #PrideInFootball #Pride
@afcwils: Well done Jamahl for being brave enough to go public about your sexuality. I’m proud to have a player wearing the famous Sheppey United FC shirt. that feels comfortable being open in this way.
Well done to you. 👏🏼
@AJ_Dream18: That would have taking alot of courage to do this mate. Full respect to you young man 🙌
@garywilkins1972: Top geezer top player, glad the club r supporting his personal message. Small island tucked away doing real life positives in 2021 👏
@ChristianBurt: Terrific. Good luck to everyone at the club for this coming season 👍🤞💪🏼
@luketuffs: Well done mate, takes a lot of courage but I know you’ll feel so free. All of football will be with you ⚽️❤️
@EBStatto: Well done and good luck to the lad.
@StockyD_14: Fair play to Jahmal. Shouldnt be an issue in society, let alone the game, but it sadly is. Narrow minded people wont win though and glad Jahmal feels supported by the club, as he will be by supporters
@KxngPxnth: This takes a lot of heart I’m sure 👊🏾👏🏾
@paulstingray: Unbelievable and so brave well done to Jamhal for open up and for Sheppey United for the support of their own player 👏👏
@MHKreissl: Fair-minded people should have no problem with this. It shouldn’t even be necessary to make statements like Jahmal has but the world isn’t quite ready for that approach. Fans of @FCUnitedMcr stand with you.
@MSoundslike: Respect fella.
@AllTheAviation: Not often footballers come out due to the amount of prejudice in the sport. Huge respect for Jahmal Howlett-Mundle and to his @SheppeyUFC teammates and staff for supporting this.
@PoorFlyingMan: Takes some guts to not be afraid of who you are Jahmal, well played sir 🏳️🌈👏🏳️🌈 Well done to Sheppey United and their supporters as well for their overwhelmingly positive response. Let’s see more of this in football
@stedaley78: This is massive, much respect to Jahmal for what he has done. It must have taken a lot of bottle, I hope it can inspire others and that it opens up further conversations and understanding and acceptance of people’s sexuality.
@H_Josh1993: One of the best players and people to be around. Society is changing for the better, we’re getting towards a more inclusive world. Jam, you’re amazing mate 👌🏻
@PodcastSelk: Says a lot about the man, his club and his team mates. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
@paragonpinds :Oi I am FXCKING here for this.
Use these helplines to find out more information and advice…
NHS Choices – Sex & Young People
During puberty, you have lots of emotions and sexual feelings. It’s normal for girls to think about girls in a sexual way, and for boys to think about boys in a sexual way. You don’t choose your sexuality, it chooses you. These links offer information for young people who think they might be gay, lesbian or bisexual. Includes sources of support, safer sex, coming out and dealing with bullying.
Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline
Helpline: 0300 330 0630 (10-10 daily)
At Switchboard we provide an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity. We are confidential, welcoming, supportive and non-judgemental.LGBT Health Scotland
Helpline 0300 123 2523 (Tuesdays & Wednesday 12-9)
Working to improve the health, wellbeing and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland.
LGBT Youth Scotland
We are Scotland’s national charity for LGBTI young people, working with 13–25 year olds across the country. We also deliver the LGBT Charter programme to schools, organisations and businesses.
Our goal is to make Scotland the best place to grow up for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people. We play a leading role in the provision of quality youth work to LGBTI young people that promotes their health and wellbeing, and are a valued and influential partner in LGBTI equality and human rights.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
Life’s tough, we know that. It can throw a lot your way and make it hard to know what the hell to do with it all. So, welcome to The Mix. Whether you’re 13, 25, or any age in between, we’re here to take on the embarrassing problems, weird questions, and please-don’t-make-me-say-it-out-loud thoughts you have. We give you the information and support you need to deal with it all. Because you can. Because you’re awesome. We’ll connect you to experts and your peers who’ll give you the support and tools you need to take on any challenge you’re facing – for everything from homelessness to finding a job, from money to mental health, from break-ups to drugs. We’re a free and confidential multi-channel service. That means that you choose how you access our support, without the worry of anyone else finding out. Whether it be through our articles and video content online or our phone, email, peer to peer and counselling services – we put the control in your hands. You can even volunteer with us too.
Helpline: 0800 1111
ChildLine is a counselling service for children and young people. You can contact ChildLine in these ways: You can phone on 0800 1111, send us an email, have a 1-2-1 chat with us, send a message to Ask Sam and you can post messages to the ChildLine message boards. You can contact ChildLine about anything – no problem is too big or too small. If you are feeling scared or out of control or just want to talk to someone you can contact ChildLine.
Stonewall – The Lesbian, Gay & Bi-sexual Charity
Stonewall works to achieve equality and justice for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people.
ACAS – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
Helpline: 0300 123 1150
Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work. Bullying and harassment of any kind are in no-one’s interest and should not be tolerated in the workplace, but if you are being bullied or harassed it can be difficult to know what to do about it. This leaflet gives employees basic information about bullying and harassment. Summarises the responsibilities of employers. Outlines some of the options open to you and points you to sources of further information and advice.
FFLAG (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Central Helpline no: 0845 652 0311
Offers support to local parents groups and contacts, in their efforts to help parents and families understand accept and support their lesbian gay and bisexual members with love and pride.