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New report claims gay players fear fan response

6 May 2013 15:20

The Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) has claimed eight professional English league players have come out to their clubs.

However, seven of these players have

not wanted their sexuality made known to the public because of the backlash

they fear from fans.


Striker Justin Fashanu was the last high-profile British football player to

reveal his homosexuality in 1990 before taking his own life in 1998.


NBA basketball player Jason Collins became the first active major US sport male

to come out on the back of a Sports Illustrated magazine interview last week.


American soccer player Robbie Rogers also recently came out after spending time

playing in England for the likes of Leeds United and Stevenage.


Chis Basiurski, chairman of the GFSN, told the

Observer: "We have anecdotal evidence that players are out within their

clubs and don't have a problem.


"But we are trying to create an atmosphere for people to come out safely.

At the moment there is a big barrier. The fact is, we have never really tested

the fans, both home or away, on this.


"The danger is what happens when a player comes out and gets loads of

support and attention, but then starts playing badly.


"The worry is that fans will start getting on their backs and they may

lose the confidence of their manager and it could be connected to their

sexuality."


Stonewall's Andrew Wasley added: "There are signs that things are getting

much better, at clubs such as West Ham and Arsenal in particular.


"But there are also gay people who are worried about what to do. The whole

game needs to be much more open."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 6 +12 16
2 6 +7 13
3 6 +5 11
4 6 +4 10
5 6 +2 10
6 6 -3 10
7 6 +2 8
8 6 +1 8
9 6 +0 8
10 6 +0 8
11 6 +0 8
12 6 -1 8
13 6 +0 7
14 6 -1 7
15 6 -2 6
16 6 -2 6
17 6 -1 5
18 6 -9 4
19 6 -7 3
20 6 -7 3

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