It really is something that there is not a single ‘out’ footballer in the world of professional football, not just in this country but throughout Europe and probably the world. West Ham winger Matt Jarvis is this month’s cover boy on Attitude Magazine, the UK’s leading glossy gay magazine. Jarvis isn’t gay, he’s married, but for whatever reason he has decided to speak out. I’m not sure Sam Allardyce, his manager, will be overjoyed, but it will certainly be interesting the watch the fallout from this. Jarvis is not the first footballer to appear on Attitude’s cover – David Beckham did so in 2002 and Freddie Ljungberg did so in 2006.
In an interview with the magazine, Jarvis said he thought it was time that a gay footballer felt comfortable enough to come out…
“It’s everyday life. It’s not something that’s going to be a shock. I’m sure there are many footballers who are gay, but when they decide to actually come out and say it, it is a different story. It’s one that I’m sure they’ve thought about many times. But it’s a hard thing for them to do… There’d be support everywhere within the football community, whether it be players, fans or within the PFA [Professional Footballers’ Association]. There would definitely be groups of people who would be supportive and help them through it.”
You would hope that would be the case, but if a footballer does decide to take this step, I hope there will be many others that follow his lead, because being the only one would certainly not be a comfortable position to be in.
Homophobia is rife in football, both on the pitch and on the terraces. If Matt Jarvis helps combat that in any way, he should be congratulated.
You can see the full story courtesy of The Guardian