Words: Steve Brown
Former Newcastle footballer Joey Barton says society’s ignorance about gay men is why there are no out Premier League players.
Barton – who is an English professional football manager and former player who played as a midfielder – has opened up about the possibility that there will ever be an openly gay footballer player in English football.
While speaking to the Daily Star, Barton branded it ‘embarrassing’ that due to homophobia there are no out Premier League footballers.
He said: “100 per cent there are gay footballers.
“I can’t imagine how tough it is for them and it is embarrassing that we’ve allowed the game to get to this point.
“This is the thing I don’t get, and it’s an ignorance really, and it’s to think that every gay man fancies every other man.
“To think that any gay man in a football environment would get in the shower and go, ‘Oh, look at all their d***s, I fancy them all’. It’s ridiculous.
“Do you fancy every female that you come into contact with? No.
"You fall in love with your partner and build your relationship with your partner with your partner but that’s special. It’s not every person that you see.
“We’ve got to be realistic about things. The stigma is real for men who haven’t shared dressing rooms and haven’t become aware of the world that they’re living in.
“We are trying to do things to make things better.”
Barton has been a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community and previously said that sexual orientation "shouldn't even be an issue in this day and age".