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01:48 | 13th December 2017

News: UK

Mon 30 Jan, 2012
By Newsdesk


I think if the FA were to make a statement saying ... we will stamp on anything, then it would create a safer environment that's comfortable for the footballers

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The former Welsh rugby captain, Gareth Thomas, has urged the Football Association to make a public statement in support of gay footballers to break down homophobic prejudice in the game.

Speaking in a BBC documentary, Britain's most high-profile, openly gay sportsman claims talented players will be frightened away from a professional career unless the sport takes action to create a more welcoming atmosphere.

"I think if the FA were to make a statement saying ... we will stamp on anything, then it would create a safer environment that's comfortable for the footballers," said Thomas, 37.



He was interviewed for a documentary Britain's Gay Footballers, to be shown on BBC3 tonight. It is presented by Amal Fashanu, a model whose uncle, Justin Fashanu, was the last openly-gay professional footballer. The former Norwich City and Nottingham Forest striker, who suffered homophobic abuse after coming out, committed suicide in 1998. In the programme, Ms Fashanu tearfully confronts her father, the former Wimbledon striker John Fashanu, about his public hostility to his brother after he revealed his sexuality. He tells her the family was "scandalised" by Justin's revelations in a series of press articles. "Cheap, dirty, horrible scandals day after day. On the front page, saying you've had sexual relationships with MPs," he told his daughter. "We have a reputation. We have a name to protect." Ms Fashanu watched a television interview from the 1990s in which her father said: "I wouldn't like to play or even get changed in the vicinity of him. That's just the way I feel, so if I'm like that I'm sure the rest of football is like that."

Source: The Independent
To read more of this article click here:
/www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/britains-most-highprofile-gay-sportsman-sets-a-challenge-for-football-time-to-tackle-homophobia-6296585.html



 

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