Gay Football Players Would Still Face ‘Significant Abuse’ From Fans If They Came Out, Warns FA Chairman

Clarke told MPs: “I would be amazed if we haven’t got gay players in the Premier League. I’m personally ashamed that they don’t feel safe to come out.

“Our job is to identify anybody guilty of persecuting, in any way, members of a minority, an ethnic minatory, a sexual minority, or gender,” he said.

“The good news is we are not in denial. We may not have figured out how to crack it yet, but there is a deep loathing of that behavior throughout football.”

Clarke told the committee he would be “cautious” of encouraging any professional footballer to come out until the FA had fulfilled “our part of the bargain” and stamped out abuse from the stands.

In 2015, the Daily Mirror reported two Premier League players were planning to come out as gay. However this has not happened.

Justin Fashanu became Britain’s first openly gay footballer in 1990. He hanged himself in 1993. 

He is the only male footballer to have come out while still playing the game professionally in the UK.

Former Leeds United player Robbie Rogers came out in 2013, having left the club.

Thomas Hitzlsperger, the ex-Aston Villa player, came out in 2014 after he had retired. 

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