Phillip Schofield praises Jake Daniels as footballer comes out as gay

Watch: Phillip Schofield praises gay footballer Jake Daniels for coming out

Phillip Schofield has praised Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels after he came out as gay.

The 17-year-old forward became the first English professional footballer to publicly announce they were gay in 32 years. Justin Fashanu publicly came out in 1990, and was the last player to do so.

Schofield publicly came out on TV during an episode of This Morning in 2020 and on the same show praised the footballer for being 'incredibly brave'.

Read more: Jake Daniels comes out as UK's first openly gay footballer since 1990

The TV presenter then said: "What’s important now, and this may be very naïve, I think he will have an amazing amount of support, help and care within his own football community. That his football mates, his football club, all enormously supportive."

PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Blackpool's Jake Daniels during the Sky Bet Championship match between Peterborough United and Blackpool at London Road Stadium on May 7, 2022 in Peterborough, England. (Photo by Lee Parker - CameraSport via Getty Images)
Blackpool's Jake Daniels during a Sky Bet Championship match. (CameraSport via Getty Images)

Schofield continued by saying: "You see the tweets from other football players saying, 'what you’ve done is incredible'. What you’ve got to hope now… football is such a family, it’s tribal, it’s a family.

"What you want now is for that tribal family now to show an enormous amount of support. Of course there’s always going to be sort of ribbing people and having a go, but this is the time to say, 'let’s not go for him on the pitch'."

He concluded by addressing Daniels: "Hats off to Jake, we think you’re amazing."

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Phillip Schofield attends ITV Palooza! at The Royal Festival Hall on November 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Phillip Schofield attends ITV Palooza!. (Getty Images)

Daniels has also been praised by a number of other stars including Paul Sinha from The Chase, who wrote on Twitter: "If you dont understand why Jake Daniels is big news, football is one of many professions where the closet is seen as a commercially safer option for gay men. It needs someone with the courage to put that to the test. Hopefully in years to come we'll wonder what the fuss was about."

Daniels' decision to come out was also praised by many in the footballing world including Gary Lineker, Harry Kane, Rio Ferdinand and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.

Thomas Hitzlsperger, who came out as gay after he retired from playing, also said he wished Daniels the best of luck in his career.

Watch below: Jake Daniels praised as he comes out as gay