Gary Lineker: more footballers coming out is ‘inevitable’ and will happen soon

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 (Dave Benett)
(Dave Benett)

Gary Lineker has said he expects more footballers to come out as gay in the coming months.

“There are plenty of gay footballers and it’s a real shame that they don’t [come out]” he told an audience at the Design Museum’s new football exhibition last night. “But I think now we’ve had one and then there’ll be another, and then I think it will be something totally inevitable”.

Blackpool player Jake Daniels came out as the UK’s first gay current player this month, and Lineker expects others will join him soon. “There’s another top player contemplating coming out. I know who it is, but obviously I can’t share that,” he said.

Broadcaster and former player Lineker said he fears there are bumps ahead for those who do come out. “I think the game is changing [but] you’ll still get silly chants and silly shouts from small sections of the crowd,” he said. “Unfortunately we still have idiots… and we always probably will”.

Lineker began his football career in 1978, playing for Leicester City, and went on to launch a media career which involved him being the longest standing host of Match of the Day.

 (Dave Benett)
(Dave Benett)

He also revealed he was close to being a part of one player’s coming out story three years ago. “There was also a player who was the ‘secret gay footballer’ on Twitter about 3 years ago,” he explained. “I was having conversations with him and he was going to come out and I was gonna do the interview and on the morning of, he chickened out.”

It might not have been time then, but Lineker is far more confident now. “I really think it’s time and I think a massive majority will be hugely supportive” he said. “I’ve always thought for some time it’s really important that someone came out in football… we’ve seen it in other sports,” he said. Lineker was speaking to writer Tim Marlow in a talk to mark the opening of the musem exhibit, was put on in partnershp with content platform The Wick.

“Football is probably the campest sport around” Lineker he said. “The players are all metrosexual”.

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