Several professional footballers are planning to come out as gay in a few weeks, report says

Recent reports are claiming that several professional footballers plan to come out as gay on 17 May.

German newspaper Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that numerous national players plan to come out before the end of the Bundesliga, the professional football league in Germany.

17 May marks the International Day Against Homophobia.

The German outlet has quoted Marcus Urban as a source. Urban is a former footballer in Germany who came out after retiring. He was the second player worldwide to come out, only after British player Justin Fashanu in 1990. Fashanu was the only prominent player in pro English football to come out, until Jake Daniels in 2022. 

Urban is a co-founder of Diversero, a global community for diversity that is said to be in contact with the relevant players. 

“May 17th is an offer,” Urban told the German outlet. “A date that you could use as a guide and get together as a group.

Urban has shared that in a private group chat, there are active conversations surrounding this plan.

“There is controversy there. Do I still want to wait until the world of football becomes the way I want it to be? Why should I wait?”

“An interesting dynamic has come into play, you can see that people’s minds are starting to move and are thinking about whether it really makes sense to continue to hide and deny themselves.”

“There are also gay Bundesliga couples who are in hiding. That would be so liberating. What’s wrong with it?”

The collective coming out plan is reportedly named Sports Free. There is also said to be a documentary, named Hide and Seek, that will chronicle the stories of the players involved in this collective coming out.

“The footballers will see that they are just a small building block in a big game,” Urban remarked about the project. 

Have there ever been any gay Premier League footballers?

To date, there haven’t yet been any out, gay footballers playing in the UK Premier League. Justin Fashanu didn’t play in the Premier League. He did have a trial for Newcastle United in 1991, but they were a second division team at the time.

That hasn’t stopped tabloids speculating, of course. The Sun claimed in November 2022 that two Premier League players in the same team “are in a relationship and open about being a gay couple”.

However, to date, the truth behind these rumours has not seen the light of day.

There is a stark contrast in terms of LGBTQ+ representation when men’s football is compared to women’s football. The latter is full of out LGBTQ+ female players, including Rachel Daly, who is currently dating her Aston Villa teammate Sarah Mayling: a defender.

Both the 2023 Women’s World Cup and Euro 2025 qualifiers are no exception, with a record number of publicly LGBTQ+ female footballers taking to the pitch.

Which professional male football players are out?

Josh Cavallo on the RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under judging panel. (World of Wonder)

Hardly any, really. There are currently six out professional male footballers in the world: but even that is stretching it a bit as one of them, Zander Murray, has announced he plans to retire.

The six active out, gay pro footballers include Jake Daniels. Daniels came out at age 17 in 2022 when he was playing for Blackpool.

“I want people to know the real me,” he declared at the time, noting his teammates had been supportive. 

In Australia, there’s Josh Cavallo. Cavallo came out publicly as gay in 2021. He has been vocal about being sent death threats and homophobic abuse since his announcement, highlighting the state of LGBTQ+ acceptance in men’s football.

Also in Australia, Andy Brennan, an Australian professional soccer player who plays as a winger or striker for South Melbourne, became the first openly gay Australian male footballer.

As mentioned above, Zander Murray, Scotland’s first out gay professional footballer, has just retired. Murray, who played for Gala Fairydean Rovers FC, made headlines when he came out in 2022.

“I have achieved what I wanted to. I wanted to play in the league and I have done that. And I feel with what is happening off the pitch for me, I don’t really want to go on any further,” Murray stated about his retirement. 

Another queer professional footballer using his voice to amplify LGBTQ+ topics in sport is 29-year-old Collin Martin, who plays for San Diego Loyal in the US. Martin, who came out in 2018, was at the time the only active male professional soccer player to be openly gay.

Speaking to PinkNews, Martin shared he was disappointed with FIFA over the Qatar World Cup over “the lack of representations in stadiums” and the “lack of allyship allowed from straight players willing to support the LGBTQ+ community”.

“It’s hard, and as much as there’s a lot of people who are pushing the sport in the right [direction], FIFA and Qatar have shown that they are still not willing to be a part of that conversation.”

The post Several professional footballers are planning to come out as gay in a few weeks, report says appeared first on PinkNews | Latest lesbian, gay, bi and trans news | LGBTQ+ news.