An extremely interesting follow-up to the story of Sol Campbell, the black British footballer who became the latest victim of ugly racist and homophobic taunts. That abuse included a deplorable song claiming he was HIV positive. A former star footballer, Paul Elliottt, who is also black, announces that at least 12 top football players are gay but are afraid to admit it. Who would blame them.
The dozen are afraid to admit their homosexuality to their team mates for fear of the reaction they would receive, [the] former Chelsea and Celtic star said.
While Elliott refused to reveal their names himself, the stars were challenged to come out to help rid football of homophobia.
It is clear that Elliott, who advises the Equality and Human Rights Commission, wants homophobia to be addressed with the same vigour as racism....
'One or two footballers have come to me to ask for advice over my time in football,' he said.
'Quite simply the next step of action would be to do exactly what Kick It Out has done. It's not re-inventing the wheel.
The Kick It Out campaign was established by the Football Association to raise awareness against racism. Elliott wants the program extended to homophobia and brings up the sad story of Justin Fashanu, the black football star who came out in 1990. Fashanu suffered vile homophobic abuse from fans and players, and, tragically took his own life in 1998.
It's fascinating that the black players—such as John Amaechi, Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, Paul Eliott, Didier Drogba, etc—are the lead voices in English football speaking out against homophobia and homophobic abuse by fans. Maybe that's because they have been on the receiving end of racist taunts and abuse from English and European fans. Unfortunately, not the same luck on this side of the pond, where the black athletes are often spewing the homophobic abuse and largely do not identify as oppressed minorities.