Footballer Frank Lampard has said that he would love to see a professional player in the sport come out as gay.
Speaking on Alan Carr's Chatty Man, Lampard suggested that there must be some among the 5,000 professional football players in the country. "I think it is a fact they will be out there, they are in all lives and times, but we are at fault as a sport. It is that old syndrome where it is a man’s game and you can’t talk about that."
He went on to mention that we have had a few football figures coming out, but often after their retirement. "Thomas Hitzlsperger who played in the Premier League, came out after having moved back to Germany or Italy" he said. "In America, Robbie Rogers played there" he added, referring to Rogers playing for LA Galaxy after leaving Leeds United.
Football is one of the only sports in the UK that hasn't seen prominent gay participants. Gareth Thomas broke down a huge social barrier when he came out following a successful career in rugby in 2009.
Lampard does feel that the situation is hopeful. He told Alan, "I have to say the game is changing a lot, there are a lot of campaigns and I feel it in the dressing rooms. I would love it if someone came out and everyone treated it with respect. This silly thing that we are macho and we play football is very old hat."
There have been no openly gay professional football players in the UK since Justin Fashanu came out in 1990.
You can catch up with Alan Carr Chatty Man on 4oD.