A Premier League player announced in an anonymous open letter on Friday evening that he was gay. The letter was sent by the Justin Fashanu Foundation, an organization dedicated to gay professional footballers, and is owned by multiple British media outlets.
"I'm gay. To write that down is already a big step for me. Only my family members and a small group of friends are aware, but I don't feel ready to share it with my team or manager." , it says in the letter, which is owned by, among others, The Sun and The Mirror .
"I hope that someday I feel good enough to tell you. What it's like to go through life like that? Sometimes it's an absolute nightmare and it affects my mental condition more than ever. I'm afraid I only make things worse if I make it public. "
At this time, there are no Premier League players who are openly gay. Justin Fashanu committed suicide in 1998, eight years after he was the first British professional football player to come out. His niece therefore founded the Justin Fashanu Foundation to defend the interests of gay soccer players.
The Premier League player who wants to remain anonymous says in his letter that the football world is not yet ready for a player who comes out. "Rigorous changes need to be made in order for me to get out of anonymity," he emphasizes.
"I hear homophobic chants in the stands every time and there are still a lot of prejudices in football. When I make my homosexuality public, I want to make sure that I get full support. And that doesn't feel like it now."
Are you thinking about suicide? Contact 113 Suicide Prevention at www.113.nl or call 0800-0113.