Sunday 21 January 2018

Gay footballer reveals teammates refused to shower naked when they found out his sexuality

The footballer said that attitudes towards homosexuals in professional football was worsening
The footballer said that attitudes towards homosexuals in professional football was worsening

Jack Simpson

An anonymous German footballer has spoken about his decision not to reveal his sexuality publicly after teammates refused to shower naked with him once they found out he was gay.

The player, under the pseudonym Nico, told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle about how teammates used to wear underwear in the showers if he was present.

In the interview Nico said:  “By chance the team I was in found out that I was gay.

“After a training session I walked into the shower and I realised all of my teammates weren't naked, but were wearing underpants. Of course I was totally shocked,

“At first I didn’t know why, but then I realised it was because of me.”

According, to the player, who is said to play in the German under-19 Bundesliga, his sexuality also had an impact on his first-team opportunities and he said that he was alienated by both players and coaches after his sexuality became known.

He said: “By the end of the season though, I was out of contention because I'd been playing badly. Nevertheless, I thought I'd played a good season."

Adding: “That showed me that being gay just isn't accepted in football. And that won't change in the near future.”

Nico said that coming out publicly as gay could potentially ruin his career and that was a risk not worth taking.

He said:  “When you play well in a game and the crowd starts cheering your name, there’s no better feeling.

“It wasn’t worth throwing that and ten years of training away just because I like men and not women.”

The comments from Nico come months after former German international midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger came out as a gay on his retirement from the game.

Former international midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has become one of the few high profile sportsmen, and the first well-known German footballer, to publicly reveal that he is gay

Thomas Hitzlsperger

Hitzlsperger who won 52 caps for the German national team said that being gay was never a "big thing" in the changing rooms he had experienced in Italy, Germany and England.

It was hoped that Hitzlsperger's decision to come out might improve the situation, but according to Nico attitudes towards gay people in football had not improved and were actually worsening.

He said: “After Thomas Hitzlsperger’s coming out we hoped that there would be some changes, but I think it has become worse.

“The media had been giving positive reports but you have to differentiate between the media and the situation on the pitch.”

He added: “As a homosexual player, I feel Hitzlsperger’s coming out has encouraged the right-wing. Homophobia in the stands has got worse."

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