‘You can count on us’: German footballers join campaign to support gay colleagues

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02/17/2021

Over 800 footballers have signed up to a campaign by a German football magazine aimed at offering support to LGBTQ players. But World Cup winner Philipp Lahm still has doubts about the level of acceptance in the game. Hundreds of footballers in Germany have signed up to a campaign by football culture magazine “11Freunde” (“11 Friends”) to offer their support for LGBTQ colleagues and take a stand against homophobia. The magazine’s latest issue, which comes out this week, has several different covers featuring different footballers holding signs reading: “Ihr könnt auf uns zählen!” (“You can count on us!”) Among the cover’s stars are Bundesliga players Max Kruse and Christopher Trimmel of Union Berlin, as well as Dedryck Boyata and Niklas Stark of Hertha Berlin. Sebastian Ohlsson of second-division side St. Pauli and German international goalkeeper Almuth Schult are also included. In total, over 800 players from both the men’s and women’s games have signed up to the campaign that organizers say isn’t about forcing anybody to come out — but rather focused on offering support and creating a more understanding environment.

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