**The pictures are NOT of a closeted gay soccer player, they were sent to me from a reader, had a soccer ball in them and thought it went well with the entry!
I found this on Outsports.com and thought I would share it here with you guys. I think it's pretty cool that this magazine found closeted athletes and shared their stories with the world. Check out the write up from Cyd and then click on over to the magazine website and check out the full articles. It's crazy.
Spiegel, German's most influential weekly magazine, is running a multipart series on their Web site about gay players in the professional German soccer leagues. And they got some players to talk to them anonymously."It is still the greatest possible taboo in the gay-hostile world of soccer," the article reads, "in which it would be more possible for a woman to play on a men's team than for an openly gay man to be accepted on a professional team."The magazine spoke with a sport psychologist, who asked to not be named, who knows of several German soccer players, among them a very big name, who are gay."I know from my role as a psychologist that these players see only the choice of leading a double life and keeping their homosexuality quiet from the coach, the team and the team management," the source told Spiegel.
Spiegel talked with one player who is married to a woman and also living with his same-sex partner."I naturally feel shitty," the player said. "My wife knows nothing of it. But what am I to do? Coming out would be my death." His partner is able to travel with him without anyone suspecting because it's not abnormal for players to travel with friends.They talked with another closeted player who frequents the gay chat rooms looking for sex. He says he's careful to make sure the guy he might meet has not interest in football, reducing the possibility he might be recognized. "Still, each time I meet up with someone I risk my career."The story asserts many of the things that we have heard over and over: The percentage of gay players in soccer is likely the same as that of gay people in the population; Showering with a gay teammate is a popular reason straight men give for having an issue with a gay teammate; Staying in the closet can seem like the only way but can undermine someone's athletic performance; Gay people represent a strong financially viable clientele. Still, it's always great to see mainstream sports publications, especially national leaders like Spiegel, diving into the issues.You can catch the story at Spiegel's Web site, if you can read German.
-Cyd Zeigler jr.