Watford striker Troy Deeney says there is probably one gay or bisexual player in each team

Last Updated: 15/06/20 7:11am


Watford captain Troy Deeney thinks having an out professional male footballer would help others

Watford captain Troy Deeney believes there is probably one gay or bisexual player in every football team and says “there is now a bigger platform than
ever” to be out as a professional athlete.

While several current top women players who are lesbian or bisexual are out, there has still yet to be a high-profile gay or bi equivalent among their male counterparts.

Former Aston Villa and Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger first spoke publicly of being a gay man in football in 2014 following his retirement.

The late Justin Fashanu came out in 1990 while between clubs, and went on to play league football in both England and Scotland.

Former Norwich and Nottingham Forest striker Justin Fashanu is Britain's first and only out gay male professional footballer

Former Norwich and Nottingham Forest striker Justin Fashanu is Britain’s first and only out gay male professional footballer

Talking on the BBC Podcast, Grounded with Louis Theroux, Deeney said: “I would go on record saying that there is probably one gay or bi person in every football team. They’re there, they are 100 per cent there.

“I think people that are gay or from that community definitely are very worried about having to shoulder the responsibility of being the first. I think once the first comes out, there would be loads.

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“If they came out and said it, I genuinely believe you would get, in the first week, at least 100 people that went ‘me too’. Just because they don’t want to be the face of it.”

Deeney, who returned to action for Watford in a friendly on Saturday ahead of the Premier League return, added: “I think there is now a bigger platform than ever to be a gay athlete of any nature.

“I also wonder why people finish football, rugby, whatever the sport it might be, and then go ‘I am gay’. I feel like it must be a real heavy load to carry throughout all your whole sporting career.”

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