The chief executive of the Premier League has insisted that the environment is "entirely suitable" for top-tier footballers to come out publicly.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight
host and Attitude Man of the Year award-winner
Evans Davis, football boss Richard Scudamore said he was "absolutely sure" there were gay footballers in the Premier League, but that they would be welcomed by the sport were they to publicly reveal their sexuality.
"I'm absolutely sure there are, yeah," Scudamore said. "It would be very strange if there wasn't, wouldn't it?"
Asked why such players hadn't come out yet, he replied: "I don't know, because I can't speak for them and I don't know who they are, so that's a very difficult question to ask."
He continued: "The environment would be entirely suitable for them to come out, if that's the right phrase."
"It would be welcomed and I think there would be a tolerance to it. I think the time would be right to do that."
After Davis asked whether gay players would be treated with 'respect', the 56-year-old insisted: "I absolutely think they would, yeah."
Scudamore's comments come just weeks after tabloid reports
that two famous English footballers were preparing to come out. No male professional UK footballer has come out since former Nottingham Forest star Justin Fashanu, who received abuse both on and off the pitch before tragically taking his own life in May 1998.
England women's captain Casey Stoney was the first active footballer to come out since Fashanu, going public with her sexuality in February 2014, while former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger publicly revealed his homosexuality a month before, following his professional retirement in September 2013.
Meanwhile, Stonewall recently condemned a British bookmaker after they began offering odds on which player would be the first to come out - find out more here
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