PATRICK BAMFORD is convinced Premier League dressing rooms are ready to accept gay players.
But the Leeds ace admits the reaction from the terraces is the biggest deterrent to any team-mate having the courage to come out.
Patrick Bamford doesn’t think players would have problems with with their squad-mates if they came out but they still might face sick chants from fans
Ex-QPR manager Ian Holloway fears football is still homophobic
Openly gay Australian player Josh Cavallo had “no words” after suffering homophobic abuse from fans in a recent A-League game.
No current Prem star has revealed they are gay and striker Bamford, speaking in a Channel 4 documentary, said: “I would imagine that if someone were to come out as gay, a player would go and confide in the captain.
“The captain would then bring everyone together and then tell everyone the news.
“I know in our changing room, I don’t think there would be too much of a reaction.
“It shouldn’t be that big of an issue in this day and age. I would let them know if they have any worries or issues, then I am here.
“Don’t think just because you’ve come out that anything has changed. We’re still mates. Nothing should change.”
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But Bamford, 28, conceded: “If they are a footballer playing at a stadium, the reaction of the fans is probably what they are most worried about.
“They’ll be thinking, ‘Are these fans going to chant stuff’, which shouldn’t happen.
“The problem is, there are going to be a few people who are drunk at a game who might say stuff.
“It’s getting closer that these things are being eradicated from the game but it’s still not quite there yet.”
Former QPR and Blackpool boss Ian Holloway, 58, admitted he still believes “football is homophobic”.
But ex-England centre-half Joleon Lescott thinks the game has changed.
The former Manchester City star, 39, said: “In years and generations past, it would have been a more uncomfortable situation for a player to come out.
“There were a lot more gay jokes and it was viewed in a more negative light.
“I think the perception of gay males has changed. I honestly believe the dressing room is where they would receive more support.
” Now, I would like to say players are more mature.”
- Football’s Coming Out launches on All 4 and Channel 4’s YouTube today.
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By: Martin Lipton
Title: Patrick Bamford confident Prem dressing rooms are ready to accept gay players and ‘there wouldn’t be much of a reaction’
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/17428655/bamord-leeds-gay-players-premier-league/
Published Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 22:30:00 +0000