A report claimed that a Premier League footballer believed he would “be crucified” if he turned out to be gay and had undergone therapy for fear of homophobic abuse by fans.
Gay Premier League footballer in therapy for fear of abuse from fans, according to a report.
The high-profile star said his situation was “terrifying” and that he “would be crucified” if he turned out to be gay.
Former Norwich City forward and England youth international Justin Fashanu came out in 1990 and committed suicide eight years later after his retirement.
Since then, there has been no active player of England’s highest level to follow in Fashanu’s footsteps in publicly revealing that they are gay.
The sun report that activist Amal Fashanu, his niece, has spoken to the anonymous Premier League player, who believes he should be able to exit abuse-free in 2021.
But the star believes that some supporters on the terraces are “still in the 1980s”, when the subject of homosexuality was more taboo.
Last year, it was reported that two players plying their trade in the top flight had dated family and close friends, with one recounting The sun that they were “too scared” to make their sexuality public.
Amal says she introduced the couple to each other, with the two set to attend an event in London next March to raise awareness about the matter.
“In 2021, when we’ve never been so awake as a society, it feels like it should be the perfect time for a top player to come out,” the 33-year-old activist said in addressing the newspaper.
“But the reality is that homophobia, especially online, is more prevalent than ever. We need to protect these players.
“I am in constant dialogue with the FA on what can be done but, unfortunately, this is an unprecedented situation, so it is difficult to put action in place for a situation that has not yet occurred.”
English Football League referee James Adcock recently came out, appearing in an interview with the BBC LGBT Sports Podcast to coincide with National Coming Out Day.
“As I went from part time to full time in football, some knew and some didn’t,” Adcock said during a discussion with presenter Jack Murley.
“Now all of my colleagues know that, and that’s just the norm.
“And, to be honest, colleagues have shown interest by saying, ‘I’m proud of you James, that you can be openly gay in sports,’ because they know the barriers that are still there.”
The EFL official continued, “They are fully supportive of me and not changing the way they are with me or the way they talk to me because they thought I was a straight man, and now they find out that i am a gay man.
“I don’t have to wear a t-shirt that says, ‘I’m James Adcock and I’m a gay guy.’ People know it and accept it.
“I have not suffered any homophobic abuse, and I cannot tell you a story where I had to fight or overcome this.”