Are Agents To Blame For Lack Of Openly Gay Footballers?
GAYS. They’re everywhere. Seriously. There are literally LOADS of gay people on the planet. Some people take great interest in a person’s sexual preferences whilst others couldn’t care less. The fact remains though that, in every area of human endeavour, you’ll find homosexuals.
Apart from football.
Statistically, there should be loads of gay footballers too, but alas, only two have been open about it. That’s two openly gay footballers in over a century of the game being a professional sport. The first was the tragic Justin Fashanu, the second being Anton Hysen in Sweden.
Do footballers avoid being public about their sexuality because of the fear of reprisals from fans? Well, if you ask the fans themselves, they don’t seem to mind too much where a footballer might want to thrust his penis. In fact, they think that it is the fault of agents.
In a survey of 3,500 football fans, the University of Staffordshire found that more than 90 per cent of those questioned said they would support a gay player and felt that homophobia has no place in the sport. Over 40 per cent blamed agents and clubs for dissuading players from coming out.
Professor Ellis Cashmore, who led the study, said: “Football’s gay players have been reluctant to come out. Their reasons for remaining silent lie inside the football industry rather than in the crowds. Most fans are embarrassed by the popular conception of football as a homophobic environment. It is an impression, they believe, maintained by a code of silence orchestrated and enforced by agents and clubs.”
That said, Mel Stein, the chairman of the Association of Football Agents, didn’t agree:
“It is utter nonsense to suggest that a sports agent would place any pressure on a client confirming or denying or concealing his sexual status,” he told the Independent. “In the 21st century I think that a heterosexual affair would be far more damaging to a player’s image than any acknowledgement of a player’s homosexuality as far as sponsors were concerned.”
What do you think, dear reader?
Image: Pink News 2006: The internet has today been rife with rumours surrounding the identity of two leading Premiership footballers, filmed in a gay orgy and viewed by a reporter at the News of the World.