Troy Deeney claims each football team has one gay player
Watford captain Troy Deeney believes there is probably one gay or bisexual player in every football team. Speaking on the BBC podcast, Deeney said such players hide their sexual orientation in order to avoid any sort of trouble. However, the 31-year-old wants that the players should open up on the issue so that others could follow the lead. Here is what he said.
'Players are worried about the aftermath', says Deeney
"I would go on record saying there is probably one gay or bi person in every football team. They're there, they are 100 per cent there. People from that community are very worried about having to shoulder the responsibility of being the first," said Deeney.
'Players don't want to be the face of it'
Deeney stated the players should act responsibly and encourage others to follow them. "I think once the first comes out, there would be loads. If they came out and said it, I genuinely believe you would get, in the first week, at least 100 people that went 'me too'," he added. "Just because they don't want to be the face of it."
Footballers who revealed their sexual orientation
A couple of footballers have been vocal about their orientation in the past. Former Aston Villa and Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger first spoke publicly of being a gay, following his retirement in 2014. The late Justin Fashanu is yet another footballer to have come out in this regard (1990) and went on to play league football in both England and Scotland.
Other eminent sports personalities who have spoken up
In 2019, Australian women's cricketer Megan Schutt married her partner Jess Holyoake after the Australian government passed a bill making same-sex marriages legal. The 27-year-old recently admitted she was at times addressed as a pedophile. Michael Sam, Ryan Russell, and Ryan O'Callaghan are some former NFL athletes who have come out as LGBTQ. Previously, Patricio Manuel became the first transgender professional boxer.
Megan Schutt married Jess Hollyoake in 2019
Best day of my life. My heart is so full. I am a lucky woman ❤️ Mrs and Mrs Schutt 💁🏼 #Scholyoakewedding #loveislove #morephotostocome— Megan Schutt (@megan_schutt) March 31, 2019
📷 - Brody Grogan Photography
🎥 - @CurtisBrownjohn pic.twitter.com/RHjMQzA8ZV
When Billie Jean King was outed as a lesbian
Women's tennis player, Billie Jean King, was outed as a lesbian in 1981. However, the 39-time Gram Slam winner was told to deny the claim by her publicists later on. "I'm going to do it. It is important, to tell the truth," King told BBC.
'The platform must be used more than ever'
Deeney, who returned to action for Watford in a friendly ahead of the Premier League fixture, said the players should use this platform more than ever. "I think there is now a bigger platform than ever to be a gay athlete of any nature. I feel like it must be a real heavy load to carry throughout all your whole sporting career," he concluded.