Gay footballer reveals teammates refused to shower naked when they found out his sexuality

Teammates used to shower with their pants on when they found out their teammate was gay

Jack Simpson
Friday 06 June 2014 14:25 BST
Footballer says coming out as gay could jeopardise his career
Footballer says coming out as gay could jeopardise his career (Getty Images)

An anonymous German footballer has spoken about his decision not to reveal his sexuality publicly after teammates refused to shower naked with him after they found out he was gay.

The player, using the pseudonym Nico, told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that his teammates used to wear pants in the showers if he was present.

Nico said: “By chance the team I was in found out that I was gay.

“After a training session I walked into the shower and I realised all of my teammates weren't naked, but were wearing underpants. Of course I was totally shocked,

“At first I didn’t know why, but then I realised it was because of me.”

According to the player, who is said to play in the German under-19 Bundesliga, his sexuality also had an impact on his first-team opportunities and he said that he was alienated by both players and coaches after his sexuality became known.

He said: “By the end of the season though, I was out of contention because I'd been playing badly. Nevertheless, I thought I'd played a good season."

“That showed me that being gay just isn't accepted in football. And that won't change in the near future.”

The player said that coming out publicly as gay could potentially ruin his career and that was a risk not worth taking.

He said: “When you play well in a game and the crowd starts cheering your name, there’s no better feeling.

“It wasn’t worth throwing that and 10 years of training away just because I like men and not women.”

Former German international Thomas Hitzlsperger came out as gay in January
Former German international Thomas Hitzlsperger came out as gay in January (Getty Images)

The comments from Nico come months after former German international midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger came out as a gay on his retirement from the game.

Hitzlsperger, who won 52 caps for the German national team, said that being gay was never a "big thing" in the changing rooms he had experienced in Italy, Germany and England.

It was hoped that Hitzlsperger's decision to come out might encourage other gay footballers to do the same, but, according to Nico, attitudes towards gay people in football may have worsened.

He said: “After Thomas Hitzlsperger’s coming out we hoped that there would be some changes, but I think it has become worse.

“The media had been giving positive reports but you have to differentiate between the media and the situation on the pitch.”

He added: “As a homosexual player, I feel Hitzlsperger’s coming out has encouraged the right-wing. Homophobia in the stands has got worse."

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