Frank Lampard: “I would love it if someone came out and everyone treated it with respect”
In 2015, sexuality in football is still something of a taboo. The last English footballer to come out publicly was Justin Fashanu, a man whose brother disowned him.
Fashanu’s demise was a tragic one and, since then, there has not been an openly gay footballer in England.
Frank Lampard was questioned by Alan Carr on the issue this week and the midfielder’s response as to whether there would ever be an openly gay player was an interesting one.
“Statistically there should be loads,” Carr said. “One in ten are gay aren’t they? Fifty-thousand professional footballers, one of them must be.”
“I think a lot of the problem is, as you say, it’s a fact that it will be out there, as it is in all modern life at all times, but I think we are probably at fault as a sport,” Lampard replied.
“I think that it’s that old syndrome where it’s a man’s game and you can’t talk about that. I have to say the game’s changing a lot.
“There are a lot of campaigns. I feel it in the dressing room. There’s a different feel about it.
“I would love it if someone came out and everyone treated it with respect. You know that thing about ‘we’re macho we play football’, is very old hat.”
His comments follow the public coming out of Leeds star Robbie Rogers, who made the admission about his sexuality shortly before retiring from English football in 2013.
Thomas Hitzlsperger, who played for Arsenal, also came out ahead of his retirement in 2014.