It’s the last taboo still to be confronted in the macho world of the football changing room.
In an environment where any sign of difference is seized upon, it hardly comes as a surprise gay players appear reluctant to declare their sexuality to team-mates and supporters and this surely explains why we
have yet to see an openly homosexual footballer playing in any of Europe’s top leagues.
Why? Because I feel there is still a kind of assumed homophobia within football and this needs to change.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should expect players to come out if they think it is going to put undue pressure on them. But I think it would be a shame if there was a young gay man who was a talented footballer but turned his back on the sport because he felt football wouldn’t accept him.
I feel there is a changing football culture at grass roots and upwards but there is still a fear among professional footballers of coming out. We can only speculate whether this will change or not but I hope that one day we get to a stage where a gay player would be accepted.
A huge thank you to Thomas for being interviewed and also to Pride of Irons, the official supporters’ group for LGBT West Ham fans, for contributing to this issue.