During the Sport VS Homophobia meeting held at the European Parliament in Brussels, Albin Ekdal spoke bluntly:
“In our sport, only eight players have come out homosexuals, an extremely small number. Many would like to, but they don’t feel free to do so, fearful of negative reactions “.
Watch the full video below:
In the video Edkal told how gay players who would like to come out “feel obliged to flee to hide and live in fear” and that “we need to fight back on this issue harnessing education as a force for good.”
“In an ideal world, nobody would feel uncomfortable coming out as homosexual, whether in their everyday life or in football. Unfortunately the reality is somewhat different.”
“Being homosexual does not define you as a person only who you are attracted too … we are part of the human race.”
A strong and clear message that comes from the Captain of Sweden Football Team, a team that has longly been promoting messages and actions against homophobia.
Edkal’s words resonate strongly in an environment – football – which still has a medieval, stained, retrograde approach to sexuality and to the idea of the male football player.
Do you remember when Antonio Cassano back in 2012 said “there are fags in the national team? If they are fags, just their problems, I hope they are not really there.” A statement that cost the Italian player not only a strong media pillory but also a fine of 15K euros by UEFA and the obligation to write a letter of apology.
Do you Remember the first players to come out?
1990 – The first player to come out as gay was Justin Fashanu, whose coach – Forest Brian Clough – gave him a disgusting nickname “fucking faggot”. Fashanu committed suicide in 1998 after being accused of sexual assault of a 17-year-old boy – an accusation that was never proven true – but which led him to this extreme resolution.
2014 – German player Thomas Hitzlsperger comes out during an interview with Die Zeit, he said: “Imagine the speeches in a locker room and all those jokes about homosexuality. This also prevents you from coming out, the fear of the reaction of your companions “. Thomas only came out at the end of his career as a player.
It seems that this wall of discriminations is finally cracking and that sooner or later – we hope soon – it is destined to fall into a thousand pieces.