‘I feel like it’s going to happen when it happens. We’re in Ireland and it’s very accepting of being gay’

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09/21/2019

Last July, an anonymous Twitter account caused a major stir. A user of the site claiming to be an anonymous Championship footballer suggested he was intending to come out as gay. On account of the ensuing publicity, @FootballerGay attracted over 50,000 followers and a date for the press conference was set. A number of high-profile personalities from the game, including ex-England striker Gary Lineker, showed their support for the player, who The Guardian reported “is believed to be under the age of 23 and currently playing at a Championship club”. Yet at the last minute, the individual in question performed an apparent u-turn. “I thought I was stronger. I was wrong,” read the first tweet. Call me all the names under the sun, belittle me and ridicule me, a lot will, and I can’t change that, but I’m not strong enough to do this. Just remember that I’ve got feelings, without coming out I can’t convince anybody otherwise, but this isn’t a hoax. I wouldn’t do that.” The account was promptly deleted and naturally, some sceptics doubted its veracity. But regardless of whether or not you choose to believe it was initially set up with good intentions, the story provided a sad reminder of the stark lack of LGBT representation in football.

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