Thomas Hitzlsperger Comes Out as Gay, says Homosexuality is “Ignored” in Football

Former Aston Villa, Everton, West Ham and German international Thomas Hitzlsperger has revealed that he is gay. 

Speaking to German magazine Die Ziet, Hitzlsperger spoke of the problems he faced playing a sport that has very few openly homosexual players, calling it a “long and difficult process”.

The midfielder said: “Only in recent years has it dawned on me that I would prefer to live with another man

“I’m coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards. In England, Italy and Germany being a homosexual is no big thing, at least not in the dressing room. 

I was never ashamed of being who I am but it was not always easy to sit on a table with 20 young men and listen to jokes about gays. You let them get on with it as long as the jokes are somewhat funny and not too insulting.

“Being gay is a topic that is ‘ignored’ in football and not ‘a serious topic in the changing room’. Fighting spirit, passion and winning mentality are.”

The 31-year-old retired in September 2013 due to injuries and the strain of too many transfers. 

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