In September 2012 a German magazine has published an interview with a supposedly homosexual footballer who asked to stay anonymous. So far, so normal. However, there are doubts that the interview took place at all but instead might have served a totally different purpose. The topic of homophobia in German football has been dealt with rather coyly in the past. When certain media declared the Nationalmannschaft as a bunch of gays in 2010 for many a line was crossed. The interview is another example that this topic is ignored by and large in German football. However, with Thomas Hitzlsperger’s announcement the topic has been brought up once more.
A Closer Look
In September 2012, fluter magazine have published an interview with a gay professional football player of Germany’s top division. The player asked to stay anonymous. He talked about playing hide and seek with the perceived homophobic public when he said that he would deny his sexuality if it ever came to light or if ever there were rumours that he was gay. He has accepted that he could not live his sexuality for the dream of playing football at a professional level. Further, all typical clichees were served: that of a girlfriend. The player answered that he has ‘best female friends’ which he goes out with in case there are occasions where he just has to be in female company. The shower situation was also touched upon in the interview. The most astonishing fact is, that all of his team mates know that he is gay and even players from other clubs seem to know about the fact.
At this point some alarm bells should have been ringing. Or at least some questions should have been raised as to the ubiquity of the players’ homosexuality. If his team mates know about it and he has asked them to stay silent, fair enough. However, there appear to be more than 100 other people knowing about this and still there have been no rumours, no allegations, nothing. This appears to be highly unlikely considering the daily football chit chat. Put the other way round, it makes the caste of professional footballers appear like a bunch of secretive people, sect-like, one is inclined to say. Also, as the player suggested, the public appear to be homophobic in his point of view as he stated that he would deny any rumours.
More questions posed than answered