Jake Daniels, joueur de Championship, premier pro anglais en activité à se déclarer homosexuel

Jake Daniels, joueur de Championship, premier pro anglais en activité à se déclarer homosexuel

While PSG is floundering in the midst of the Idrissa Gueye controversy, who did not take part in the match against Montpellier on Saturday when all the clubs sported flocking in favor of the LGBT community, an English footballer is raising awareness. Jake Daniels, player of the Blackpool club, who plays in the Championship, declared himself publicly homosexual in a press release and a publication on his social networks. At 17, Daniels is the first active British professional player to come out publicly.

This season has been fantastic for me on the pitch. I played my first pro match, scored 30 goals with the reserves, signed my first pro contract. But off the pitch, I hid who I really am. I have known all my life that I was gay and I feel that I am now ready to come out and be myself.“, told the player on the website of his club.

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“People see being gay as a weakness”

Being gay, bi or queer is still a taboo in men’s football“, mentioned the young player, in an interview with Sky Sports. “I think it’s because a lot of footballers want to be recognized for their manliness. And people see being gay as a weakness, something you can be teased with on the pitch. But as I see it, I play football and (the spectators) can yell things at me, but they pay to see me play and I earn my living that way. So let them shout whatever they want, it won’t change a thing“, added the young striker.

Daniels is not the first British footballer to publicly come out as gay. But the previous Justin Fashanu, in the 90s, had marked public opinion with the violence of the reactions following the interview of this amateur player in the tabloid The Sun. Fashnau ended his life at the age of 37 in 1998, when he was the victim of homophobic insults and attacks. Fashnau became, years after his death, an icon of the gay community in the United Kingdom, and was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.

The coming out of Jake Daniels has been received by many benevolent reactions from the world of football on social networks, from clubs, to championships to FIFPRO. “Football is a sport for everyone, with diversity at its core, and this is a huge step in the right direction as we try to create a truly inclusive sport that we will all be proud of.“, published the English football association.

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