Southgate hopes to see Premier League player come out

In the columns of The Team, Gareth Southgate calls for breaking the taboo of homosexuality in the world of football. The Three Lions coach would like to see a Premier League player come out.

Even in 2022, homosexuality in football, and in sport in general, remains a taboo subject. In an environment still marked by prejudice, denial and a certain omerta, few professional athletes find the strength to come out. Last year there was midfielder Josh Cavallo, who became the first active Australian league player to do so.

In May, Jake Daniels, a young striker from Blackpool in the Championship, also came out in the British media. He remains to this day the first professional British footballer to have spoken publicly about his homosexuality since Justin Fashanu, in 1990. The latter had committed suicide a few years after his confession, which had been badly received by part of his family.

“It would have a big impact”

If homophobia is still a major problem in football, more and more of them are speaking out to call for this taboo to be broken, like Gareth Southgate. In an interview granted this Saturday to L’Equipe, the England coach confides his « hope » to see a Premier League player come out in the near future.

« It would have a big impact on other people who don’t dare to do it. I understand why players are afraid to expose themselves on this subject, they fear that spectators will attack them. But in fact, we don’t know if that will be the case, because the situation hasn’t really arisen. And we saw recently, with the young Championship player (Jake Daniels) and the young Australian (Josh Cavallo), that their coming out triggered general support », underlines Gareth Southgate.

And to continue: « The locker rooms are now very multicultural and bring together different religions. They are more open than ever. » After coming out, Josh Cavallo revealed in particular that he had been the target of homophobic insults, while saying he was « overwhelmed » by the wave of support received worldwide.

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