German player Thomas Hitzlsperger has become the eighth male, before or after retirement, to reveal he is gay. The only gay player to ever play in the Premier League, he said he wanted to come out to ‘further the debate about homosexuality in sports professionals’.
While the world of football may be notoriously homophobic, many do not want to be the ones to be brave and take a stand against bigotry. But times are changing, and with Hitzlsperger the floodgates may open. In 2014, it may be the year we finally see many more athletes taking a stand.
After all, there is an estimated 500,000 competing footballers in the world.