Former soccer player Philipp Lahm said in his biography “The Game: The World of Soccer” that gay players should not reveal their sexual orientations even to teammates. According to Lahm, neither fans nor athletes are mature enough to accept a homosexual player.
“There is still a lack of acceptance in the world of soccer and in society in general” – he said, in an excerpt from the book – “He [o jogador gay] will not be able to count on the same maturity of all his rivals or in the stadiums where he will play. They would have to endure insults and libel. Who would accept? “.
However, he praises the coming out of the closet of player Thomas Hitzlsperger, who decided to reveal it to the public in 2014, shortly after he retired.
“It seems prudent that he dared to take the step and make his homosexuality public only after ending his career as an active soccer player”, concluded the former full-back.
SOCCER PLAYERS WHO ARE OPENLY GAYS
According to an article by Rafael Reis from UOL Esporte, soccer is not usually one of the most “welcoming” spaces for homosexuals, being an environment notoriously known for discrimination and homophobia and, endorsing Lahm’s speech, he says that most prefer to avoid exposure not to jeopardize the career.
However, he cites some players who decided to expose themselves publicly, including the aforementioned Thomas Hitzlsperger; Robbie Rogers, who also announced his homosexuality on the day he retired; Collin Martin, who still plays soccer and heads a campaign for gay athletes to reveal themselves; Justin Fashanu, who was the first to expose his sexual orientation; Anton Hysén, who is the son of a former player who defended Liverpool at the 1990 World Cup and even veteran Olivier Rouyer, who played in the 1978 World Cup, and announced his homosexuality in 2008, nine years after ending his career as a coach.