Former Aston Villa, Everton and West Ham player, Thomas Hitzlsperger, has revealed he's gay in an interview with German paper Die Zeit, in an effort to "further the debate about homosexuality among sports professionals".
The news comes just after Olympic diver Tom Daley revealed he's in a relationship with a man and came out as bisexual.
Sport is genuinely moving forward. FHM quizzed thousands of our readers on what they'd think if a Premiership footballer came out of the closet, and found that a brilliant 97% of you (quite rightly) wouldn't bat an eyelid.
We had a chat with Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas, and discovered that more and more fans don’t give a damn whether their favourite athletes are gay or not...
“I’m a massive football fan, so I think the results of the survey are fantastic. Since I’ve come out, the support I’ve received from thousands of ordinary sports fans, normal guys, has been phenomenal. [Gareth came out publicly in 2009.]
"Fans are getting more knowledgeable and open-minded. Increasingly, all they care about is how hard you work, how fast you are, how committed you are, how skilful you are. They don’t care who you are when you close your front door at night.
“I still have one concern, though. As an athlete I know that when crowds get together, they sometimes forget who they are and the pack mentality kicks in. When I came out it was a massive fear – how are the crowds going to react? Because they can make your life heaven or hell. If they call you names, you hear them. You can’t react, but you hear it.
So I think the fact that people individually feel comfortable with the idea of gay footballers is mind-blowing. But if the terraces get behind it, too? Well, there’s no more powerful movement than that.”
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