Wednesday 21 February 2018

Antoine Griezmann insists he would 'come out of the closet' if he was a gay footballer

Antoine Griezmann is staying with Atletico Madrid...for now
Antoine Griezmann is staying with Atletico Madrid...for now

Callum Davis

Antoine Griezmann has insisted he would publicly come out as gay if he was a homosexual footballer.

The France international has been consistently linked with a move to Manchester United this summer before he committing his future to Atletico Madrid last week.

Griezmann touched on a number of issues away from the field in a magazine interview that has been transcribed by Marca.

"Players do not come out of the closet because they are afraid," said Griezmann on the topic of gay players in football.

"We have to appear hard and strong but we are afraid of what people will say about us.

"Of course, I have nothing against anyone, I respect everybody."

The 26-year-old was asked whether he would make the decision to openly discuss his sexuality if he was gay.

"I think I would [come out as gay]. But of course, that's easier said when you do not have to go through it.

"There are a lot of bad people in football and players can be afraid to go to stadiums and get abused."

The Atletico Madrid striker is currently on international duty with France ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Sweden on Friday.

In a video shot from inside the French hotel Griezmann appears to snub Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane as the rest of Les Blues squad congratulate the defender on his recent Champions League triumph.

When France coach Didier Deschamps called on his players to applaud Varane, Griezmann appeared to be the only man not to clap.

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