news

Gay Premiership footballer says he is 'too scared' to come out publicly because the game has not 'moved on' enough

The sportsman wrote to Justin Fashanu's niece Amal Fashanu.

2020-09-21

A gay premiership footballer has said he is "too scared" to come out to the public because the sport has not "moved on" enough in a moving open letter.

Extracts of the anonymous note to Amal Fashanu, the niece of the late Justin Fashanu, have been published by The Sun.

Justin was a football player active from 1978 and 1997. He came out as gay in an interview with The Sun in 1990, and suffered horrendous homophobic abuse afterwards.

There are currently no openly gay footballer players in the Premier League (Picture: Pixabay)

He tragically took his own life eight years later.

In the letter, the unnamed football player says: "Even though society has moved on massively since I was a teenager, the game simply hasn’t.

"Those running it need to put more measures in place so gay players know they will get the support they need."

The footballer says keeping his sexuality secret has had a "massive impact" on his mental health (Picture: Pixabay)

"The powers-that-be are only playing lip service to the issue," the sportsman adds.

The author added that the secret is having a "massive impact" on his mental health, and that having relationships is "virtually impossible" due to his secret.

Amal Fashanu runs the Justin Fashanu Foundation. Another Premier League player shared a similar letter in July 2020.

Commenting on the author of the new letter's reaction to the last one, Amal told the publication: "He was relieved in a way that the first letter came out and it was sympathetically received.

“He felt that lifted a weight off his shoulders and it is good that many attitudes have changed.

“I hope to put the two players in touch so they can discuss their situations and what they are going through."