A gay Premier League footballer has admitted that “a huge amount of prejudice in football” is preventing him from coming out.
The player has penned an open letter which has been published in The Sun through the Justin Fashanu Foundation – an organisation run by the late footballer’s niece Amal.
Fashanu remains the only top-level footballer to come out as gay while still active in the game, with other gay footballers only feeling comfortable to come out after retiring.
In the letter, the footballer wrote: “I am gay. Even writing that down in this letter is a big step for me. But only my family members and a select group of friends are aware of my sexuality.
“I don’t feel ready to share it with my team or my manager. That’s hard. I spend most of my life with these guys and when we step out on the pitch we are a team. But still, something inside me makes it impossible for me to be open with them about how I feel. I dearly hope one day soon I will be able to.
“I am lucky enough to earn a very good wage. I have a nice car, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and can afford to buy anything I want for my family and friends. But one thing I am missing is companionship. I am at an age where I would love to be in a relationship.
“But because of the job I do the level of trust in having a long-term partner has to be extremely high. So, at the moment, I avoid relationships at all. I dearly hope I will soon meet someone who I think I will be able to trust enough. The truth is I just don’t think football is ready yet for a player to come out.”
The unnamed player went on to admit that he will probably wait until he retires from playing before he feels confident enough to come out.