The topic of homophobia and the lack of out players in football has been quite a discussed issue as of late, and according to MP John Nicolson three players are in contact with the Football Association about coming out.
He brought this up during a Department of Culture, Media and Sport hearing discussing homophobia in sport.
Sports minister Tracey Crouch said that “there has never been a better time” to come out in the football scene. She also addressed the comments made by FA Chairman Greg Clarke, who said a while ago that any player coming out would suffer “significant abuse”.
She called Clarke’s comments “incredibly disappointing” and “strange”, saying: “If someone were to decide to come out, they should feel like they are being supported by the authorities and that any abuse would be tackled.”
Her comments are definitely a valid point, as if you were a closeted gay player, hearing the FA Chairman say that you would face “abuse” would hardly be encourging. To start a shift within the sporting and football world in particular, there needs to be support from the higher ups and the teams themselves.
Scottish National Party MP Nicolson said: “I understand three players are in talks with the FA about coming out and they haven’t done so yet. It’s good to know that you’re encouraging people to come out.”
In response to the comments from Nicolson, a FA spokesperson said: “We have been and are working hard so that if a player felt they wanted to have the conversation about coming out, we would be there and offer any and all the support we could. Ultimately it has to be an individual’s personal choice.”