Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Instagram/hectorbellerin
Héctor Bellerín has said he believes footballers would want to "protect" a gay teammate if he came out to them.
Speaking in his latest interview, the Arsenal player nevertheless added he hasn't met or heard of a gay Premiership player, and that sexuality remains a "taboo subject" in the game.
The 25-year-old has form for pushing LGBTQ inclusivity in football, from working with Arsenal's LGBT fan group the Gay Gooners to supporting Stonewall's LGBTQ 'Rainbow Laces' campaign.
"I don’t know if football is ready for that yet"
Speaking to The Times, the star said: "It is somehow a taboo subject. We can have talks in the dressing room about all this stuff, but I’ve never heard of anyone [being gay]. No one’s ever heard of anyone.
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"I would say if there was someone who knew someone, they will keep it quiet anyway. For the sake of that person, like, trying to protect them. I don’t know if football is ready for that yet.
"I’m having conversations with Gay Gooners, and sometimes they go to an Arsenal pub and they’ll have issues with other Arsenal fans because they’re wearing a Gay Gooners scarf or something. Which, to me, is crazy. We’re part of the same family.”
Bellerín also spoke to the outlet about the importance of men exploring their feminine side, saying: "I think having a feminine side as a man is always so important in order to be happy. We’ve been living for the past decades with this standard that the man should do this and the woman should do that. And that’s not real."
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