In the world of football, the climate of homophobia still reigns. Sometimes, in the stadiums, homophobic chants or cries are heard. That hasn’t deterred some football players from coming out. Here is a list of popular footballers who have publicly confessed their homosexuality.
Justin Fashanu is a former English footballer born in 1961. In 1978, he made his official entry into the world of football by signing a professional contract with the English club Norwich. He stood out thanks to his technique, his physical form and his perfect control of the ball. In 1980, he scored a legendary goal against prestigious club Liverpool, which earned him the title of the best goal of the season BBC. A year later, he was transferred to Nottingham Forest (two-time European champions) for a sum of one million pounds. Justin Fashanu was the first player of color to hit £1million on a transfer.
In the case of homosexual players, finding love requires even more effort than for others, and this is because, unfortunately, coming out is still very difficult in the world of football, so in addition to finding love love in a difficult celebrity position, a person must also be concerned about how best to hide it. Online dating is a great solution because the best gay dating sites not only have cutting-edge tools and large communities, but they also put privacy at the top of the platform’s priorities. Finding love has always been difficult for gay people, but the advent of dating sites has made it easier.
In 1990, Justin Fashanu was also the first English footballer to publicly announce his homosexuality. At the time, gay dating was frowned upon in life in general. Nowadays, it is certain that meeting gay people in matches, dating sites… is completely normal.
In the football world of the 90s, being a gay footballer was not common. Justin Fashanu suffered, from that moment, the rejection of supporters, clubs, and even his own brother who describes him as “outcast of the family who wants to be noticed”. Eight years later, Justin Fashanu breaks down and commits suicide.
In 2020, when he would have celebrated his 59th birthday, he entered the Hall of Fame and he was listed among the greatest players in English football.
In 2018, the Minnesota United midfielder in the United States posted on his Twitter account that he was gay. This makes him the second player in Major League Soccer (equivalent to Ligue 1) to openly declare his homosexuality. The first was Robbie Rogers, in 2013. This announcement was well received by his club and his supporters. Some time after its publication, the Minnesota United club announced on social networks its support for Collin Martin.
Five days after his coming out, he played a match against Toronto which ended in victory for Minnesota United. Martin Collin didn’t stay on the pitch for long, he didn’t score or assist. However, the supporters gave him a “standing ovation” in the stands. He was called brave.
Currently, Collin Martin plays in the second division in the club of San Diego Loyal SC.
He is a former French footballer who played in several clubs such as: AS Nancy-Lorraine, Olympique Lyonnais or RC Strasbourg. He was even part of the selection (17 times) in the national team between 1976 and 1981. Olivier Rouyer is also the first French player to have come out, in 2008. Since then, he has become an activist for the gay cause in the field of soccer.
Olivier Rouyer claims not to have suffered contempt from those around him after the announcement of his homosexuality. However, he asks organizations that manage football such as FIFA or the French Football Federation to sanction all homophobic remarks during matches.
Since his retirement, this former AS Nancy-Lorraine winger has remained in the world of football by being a coach and sports consultant for a television channel.
In short, in the world of sport, affirming one’s homosexuality is sometimes risky. When it comes to football, very few gay players have dared to do so. Several organizations are currently fighting for a change of mentality.