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Zander Murray speaks out after homophobic ‘hate mail’ sent to football club

Zander Murray shared the "horrible words" and homophobic hate mail sent to the footballer following his coming out.

By Emily Maskell

Zander Murray
Zander Murray (Photo: STV News)

Zander Murray, Scotland’s first openly gay senior professional footballer in two decades, has shared his disgust after receiving homophobic “hate mail” sent to his club, the Gala Fairydean Rovers, addressed to him.

The 30-year-old striker posted an image of the anti-gay propaganda to Twitter on Saturday evening (22 October).

He wrote: “Don’t mind trolls on social media, but to go out your way and send hate mail to my club. Such horrible words and so out of touch with reality.”

He jokingly added that his dog, Zar, will “bite their derrières!”

In the images Murray shared online, the postage includes a 16-page booklet called ‘Homosexuality in light of the bible’ as well as ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and ‘Atheism Annihilated’.

On Instagram, the pro footballer said the messages were “water off a duck’s back.”

It is still a painful reminder of how far is still left to go for the acceptance of LGBTQ+ players in the sport.

Murray come out last month, making him the first Scottish pro footballer to come out since Justin Fashanu in the 1990s, with the message that he wanted to “help” other players who are struggling with opening up.

His coming out follows the referees Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson in June, as well as footballer Jake Daniels in May.

He shared, in an interview on Lorraine Kelly’s Lorraine morning show, that his coming out has been a “weight lifted off his shoulders.”

“I didn’t anticipate the reach and how many people it’s inspired and motivated and the lovely messages,” he shared at the time. “The private messages of people and fans alike, people from other communities, from other sports, football players in the leagues messaging me support, asking for guidance and help.”

One message, in particular, stood out to Zander, a heartfelt DM from a fan of his that shared the footballer had “been a massive inspiration for me to come out to teammates and family.”

The Glasgow-based player shared that messages such as that one make “it all worthwhile.”