The best part about Jason Collins' historic and courageous announcement earlier this week is that it will inspire other athletes to feel more comfortable around others with their sexuality. We're seeing traces of that over in the English Premier League, where eight players came out to their teammates. Their names are anonymous to the public because of the hovering fear of fan backlash.
Chris Basiurski, chair of the Gay Football Supporters' Network, said this is understandable in an unfortunately homophobic soccer climate:
"The danger is what happens when a player comes out and gets loads of support and attention, but then start playing badly. The worry is that fans will start getting on their backs and they may lose the confidence of their manager and it could be connected to their sexuality."
A sad case of the homophobia occurred in 1998 when English soccer player Justin Fashanu hung himself after the backlash he received from coming out eight years prior. Thankfully—and hopefully—society has progressed enough for such a tragedy to never occur again.
[via The Guardian]