The goalkeeper for English Premier League team Manchester United wrote last week on a Danish betting website’s blog that men’s soccer should be more accepting of homosexuality.
Anders Lindegaard lamented that the last soccer player to come out was Justin Fashanu in 1990. Statistics, reports The Guardian, suggest that there are likely at least some gay players currently playing in England’s top “football” league.
Lindegaard wrote that he believes his teammates would have no problem accepting an openly gay player, but that the risk of intolerance is greater with the fans.
“Homosexuality in football is a taboo subject,” wrote Lindegaard. ”The atmosphere on the pitch and in the stands is tough. The mechanisms are primitive, and it is often expressed through a classic stereotype that a real man should be brave, strong and aggressive. And it is not the image that a football fan associates with a gay person.”
“Homosexuals are in need of a hero,” he concluded. “They are in need of someone who dares to stand up for their sexuality.”