‘In sport, being openly gay can help your career’

Craig Fairnington on Thomas Hitzlsperger and the quest for an openly gay footballer.

Last week, retired Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger became the latest in a line of sportsmen to ‘come out’ as homosexual. The response to his announcement was overwhelmingly positive, but the well-wishing of many commentators and politicians was underlined by a certain prejudice - that football is full of homophobes and that we need more Hitzlspergers to overturn that. In this week’s podcast, we talk to writer and researcher Craig Fairnington about why football isn’t as intolerant as some make out, and why the inevitable tide of media fawning that greets players who come out may actually be a disincentive to going public.





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