8 Male Football Players Who Dare To Be Gay

Football Players

Football, like any other sport, has a large number of gay players. However, coming out and revealing one’s gender as gay requires courage in a world that is not conditioned to accept all genders. This list features eight male football players who have dared to come out as gay.

So far, seventeen male footballers have bravely revealed their sexual orientation as gay in public. Football is a sport for everyone. As a result, football players should not be insulted or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Even though it has been three decades since Justin Fashanu first publicly came out as gay, only a few others have done so.

Fear of homophobia on and off the field is the primary reason for many gay footballers not disclosing their sexuality publicly. As a result, many professional leagues, teams, and players are speaking out against homophobia to protect gay footballers from backlash when they come out.

We are aware of a few people who have recently revealed they are; we will include them in a separate list. Without further ado, here is a list of football players who have publicly come out as gay.

8. Andy Brennan

Andy Brennan is a 29-year-old Australian professional football player. Brennan played for New Castle Jets in the Australian top flight A-League in 2017. Aside from that, he has played for semi-professional football teams. He is currently playing for Hume City.

He is also the most recent active footballer to come out as gay. During an interview with the Herald Sun in Melbourne in 2019, he revealed his sexuality. Andy Brennan is also the first Australian male footballer to openly admit to being gay.

He stated that it took him a long time to make his announcement public. Brennan also admitted to having dated women in the past.

7. Collin Martin

Collin Martin is a professional football player who is 27 years old. He currently plays in Major League Soccer for the newly formed San Diego Loyal. An MLS midfielder revealed his sexuality on social media in 2018.

His announcement came just hours before his former club, Minnesota United, faced off against Fc Dallas in a “Pride Match” to support LGBTQ people. His family, friends, and teammates, on the other hand, were aware of his sexual orientation long before the public announcement.

Similarly, Martin was recognized for his daring move at the 6th Annual Athlete Aly Action Awards in 2019. He is currently the only openly gay football player in any of America’s top five major leagues. Martin released a story about homophobic insults directed toward him during a San Diego Loyal match against Phoneix Rising FC in 2020.

6. Thomas Hitzlsperger

German footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger is one of the most visible male football players to publicly declare his homosexuality. He has been capped 52 times by Germany, appearing in the 2006 World Cup and the 2008 Euro. He has been the sports director at Vfb Stuggart since 2019. Thomas began his career with Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Later, in 2005, Hitzlsperger joined Stuggart. He even won the German Bundesliga. After a brief loan spell with Lazio, he returned to West Ham in 2010. He did, however, end up in Wolfburg after his contract was terminated. He returned to England a year later to play for Everton.

Thomas Hitzlsperger did, however, retire from professional football in 2013, at the age of 31. Hitzlsperger attributed his early retirement to frequent transfers and injuries. During an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit in January 2014, Hitzlsperger came out as gay. Later, he revealed that he had been released a few years before and was gay.

He previously had an 8-year relationship with Inga, which ended one month before their marriage in 2007. His fellow German players backed his decision to come out as gay publicly.

Lukas Podolski called his decision brave, and coach Joachim Low said it deserved all respect. He is now raising his voice to assist football players who find it difficult to reveal their sexuality.

5. Robbie Rodgers

Robbie Rodger is a former professional football player in the United States. He has represented the United States 18 times. Rodgers came out as gay during his time at Leeds in February 2013. Later, he became the second footballer in Britain to come out as gay. Despite the FA and footballers’ full support, Rodger announced his retirement shortly after the announcement.

Later, in a March 2013 interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, he stated that the reason for his retirement was to avoid media and fan pressure. He decided to return after speaking with 500 people in an LGBT youth program in Oregon. He then joined the LA Galaxy, becoming the country’s first male footballer to play in any top-tier sports league.

After winning the 2014 MLS Cup, Rodgers became the first gay man to win the league title in the United States. Rodger was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Furthermore, Rodgers began dating Greg Berlanti in 2013 and welcomed their first child, Caleb Berlanti (son), via surrogacy in February 2016. They later married in California in December 2017. The couple then welcomed their second child, Mia Barbara Rodgers-Berlanti, in May 2019. (daughter).

4. David Testo

David Testo is a former professional footballer. Testo has previously played for the Richmond Kickers, the Colombus Crew, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Montreal Impact. Testo came out as gay in an interview with Canadian broadcaster Radio Canada in November 2011.

He also stated that his family, friends, and Montreal Impact teammates and staff were already aware of his sexual orientation. Furthermore, David Testo is the first professional male American footballer to come out as gay. He is also the third footballer to publicly declare his sexuality.

In 2019, he also appeared in Standing on the Line, a documentary about homophobia in sports. Testo is a You Can Play campaign advisory group dedicated to eliminating homophobia in sports.

3. Anton Hysen

Anton Hysen is the youngest son of retired Swedish footballer Glenn Hysen and one of the gay players in football. In the 2008-09 season, Hysen played for BK Hacken in Sweden’s top flight. However, injuries hampered his career. As a result, he played in the second and even fourth divisions in America.

During an interview with Offside in 2011, Anton Hysen publicly admitted to being gay. Later, he became the second professional footballer to come out as gay. He was only 20 years old when he publicly announced his sexual orientation. However, Hysen had already informed his family and families, and they were completely supportive.

Hysen stated that he received numerous anonymous phone calls claiming that players wanted to come out. He stated that he is launching a project to promote homosexuality in sports. He became an internet sensation after coming out as a gay footballer. As a model, he appeared on the covers of numerous magazines.

Later, in March 2011, he was profiled on Swedish broadcasting channel TV4 in a debate show (Can gays play football, too?) Similarly, he competed in the seventh season of the reality TV show Lets Dance and became the first gay person to win the competition. Rise Above is a documentary film about Anton Hysen that was released in 2013 to tell his story as a gay man.

2. Oliver Rouyer

Oliver Rouyer, 66, is a retired professional footballer. He has 17 national team appearances for France. Rouyer played for top-tier French clubs such as Nancy, Strasbourg, and Lyon during his professional career. He even managed Nancy and Fc Sion after retiring. However, he did not come out as gay until 2008.

Furthermore, he is the only French footballer to have publicly disclosed his sexual orientation to date. However, as one of football’s gay players, Rouyer is working hard to combat homophobia in France.

1. Justin Fashanu

Justin Fashanu, the late footballer, was the first to come out publicly as gay. He broke down barriers in the football world in 1990 when he publicly declared himself gay in the newspaper. After three decades, he remains the only top-tier male footballer to publicly disclose his sexuality during his professional career.

He set the record for the most expensive English black player in 1981 during his early professional career. After completing a £1 million move from Norwich City to Nottingham Forest. Later, on October 22, 1990, The Sun Tabloid newspaper ran the headline “£1m Football Star: I AM GAY.”

However, rather than being forced to support Justin, opposition fans and players insulted him. Following that announcement, he stated that no club was interested in offering him a full-time contract. Fashanu Nottingham’s career was ended by legendary manager Brian Clogh because he was gay.

He was also charged in 1998 with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old body after drinking late at night in the United States. When police attempted to arrest him on these charges, he fled to his native England. He later committed suicide on May 3, 1998. Following his death, The Pink Paper ranked Justin Fashanu 99th among the Top 500 Lesbian and Gay Heroes.

Similarly, in Brighton, the Justin Fashanu All-Stars football special event was launched to honor him and promote homosexuality in football. In 2017, Netflix released Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story as a tribute to Justin.

However, in a TalkSport interview in 2012, his brother John Fashanu made a controversial remark. He claimed his brother was only looking for attention and was not gay.

Recent Information

Former professional footballer Tomas Beattie came out as gay during an interview with the American sports channel ESPN in June 2020. From 2005 to 2015, Beattie played professional football in the United States, Canada, and Singapore. However, a severe head injury forced his retirement while playing for the Warriors in 2015.

Furthermore, he is the second British football player to publicly come out as gay, following Justin Fashanu 30 years ago. Jake Daniels of England revealed his gender as gay in 2022. He is only the third person in England to disclose his gender.

Similarly, Richardson Barbossa Felisbino from Brazil openly revealed his sexual orientation as gay. He is the first gay footballer in Brazil to reveal his gender.

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