Thomas Hitzlsperger recently came out that he is gay to German newspaper Die Ziet.
The 31-year-old former footballer had a 12-year football career playing in Germany, Italy and England and said that he has “never been ashamed” of his sexuality, but wanted to wait until after he had retired to tell his sexuality publicly because homosexuality “is a topic that is ignored in football”.
“In England, Italy and Germany being a homosexual is no big thing, at least not in the dressing room,” he also added.
Hitzlsperger admitted, “I was never ashamed of being who I am but it was not always easy to sit on a table with 20 young men and listen to jokes about gays. You let them get on with it as long as the jokes are somewhat funny and not too insulting.”
“Being gay is a topic that is ‘ignored’ in football and not ‘a serious topic in the changing room’. Fighting spirit, passion and winning mentality are.”
Hitzlsperger is the highest-profile footballer to come out that he is gay after his retirement.
Former Leeds player Robbie Rogers admitted that he was gay last February and had the same experiences as Hitzlsperger that homosexuality in football is still a taboo topic.
I think that both Hitzlsperger and Rogers are very brave especially in the footballing world and I wish them both all the best! 🙂