It is necessary that famous athletes actively advocate against homophobia. Especially heterosexual allies in uniform whose behaviours act as an example to the young and not so young alike.
Manuel Neuer (Germany): Neuer was first goalkeeper for the team Schalke 04 of the German National football team. His appeal for all professional footballers to come out of the closet went viral. In a 2011 interview for the weekly newspaper, “Bunte”, the young athlete insisted that gay football players play with more focus once they’ve unveiled their sexual orientation.
“The fans will quicky get used to it quickly, because what’s important to them is the performance of the player, not their sexual preferences. Those who are homosexual should say so, because it would be a relief.”
Antoine Griezmann (Francia): In 2017, during an interview with the ICON section of the newspaper “El País”, the French footballer for Atletico de Madrid encouraged players to come out of the closet.
“There are a lot of bad people in football. And (homosexuals) may not go to the stadiums for fear of being insulted. I think I would go. But, it’s easier to say when you don’t actually have to go through it.
“In football it is not normal (for there to be homosexuals) because we play hard and strong. And we are afraid of what people may say. I have nothing against it: respect for everyone. “
Guram Kashia (Georgia): In the In October 2017 at the Netherlands Football League, Guram Kashia, the defense player from Georgia entered the field with a rainbow armband, signaling his position as captain of “Vitesse”. A campaign orchestrated by ultranationalist Georgians forced the Georgian president to come to the defense of the footballer: “Everyone has the right to express themselves. We have to respect the rights a and liberties of everyone.”
Cesare Prandelii (Italy): In 2012, the ex-player and now trainer for the National Italian football team presented himself as a defender of the rights of homosexual people in football in the prologue of the book “The Champion in Love”, a book about homosexuality in the sports world.
“Homophobia is racism.”
“In football and in sports, there is still a taboo that surrounds homosexuality, when in reality people should be able to live free and in accordance with their own desires and emotions.”
“When we talk about love and feelings, people should be able to love who they want.”