• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Mario Gomez tells gay footballers to come out

The Local · 10 Nov 2010, 16:31

Published: 10 Nov 2010 16:31 GMT+01:00

The website of weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported that the 25-year-old Bayern Munich striker addressed the taboo of homosexuality in men’s sports, contradicting colleagues who have suggested such a move could ruin a player’s career.

“They would then play as though they’d been unshackled,” Gomez told magazine Bunte. “Being gay hasn’t been a taboo topic for a while.”

It’s an open secret that there are homosexual footballers in Germany's Bundesliga, according to Die Zeit, but there are no openly gay players.

“We have a gay Vice Chancellor, the Berlin mayor is gay,” Gomez said, referring to Guido Westerwelle and Klaus Wowereit. “So football professionals should also acknowledge their preference.”

Two of Gomez’s national teammates have spoken against coming out of the closet in the last year.

Werder Bremen Goalkeeper Tim Wiese said in April that such a player would be put down by “merciless” fans of a "macho" sport and Bayern defender Philipp Lahm told Playboy last year that the pressure would be too great for such players.

“The player who would out himself now has to do his job in front of tens of thousands of spectators,” he told the magazine. “Guido Westerwelle doesn’t play football in front of 60,000 fans every weekend.”

The German Football Association (DFB) has also admitted that openly gay players would be confronted with major challenges.

“The first in professional football who outs himself as a homosexual will not have an easy path,” said DFB president Theo Zwanziger in a newspaper interview in December 2009, according to Die Zeit.

But Zwanziger also pledged to support any player who chooses to do so with all of the Bundesliga’s resources, the paper said.

Story continues below…

On Sunday, Tatjana Eggeling, a media and gender studies expert at the University of Göttingen, told a sports show on broadcaster ZDF that she knew of fake heterosexual marriages set up for gay footballers in Germany and beyond to hide their sexual preferences.

While she wouldn’t name any players, Eggeling said there were even agencies to set up the terms of such marriage contracts.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:09 November 10, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Thing is Westerwelle and other gay politicians don't have to shower together after a session in Parliament.
18:48 November 10, 2010 by FreiburgandCambridge
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:56 November 10, 2010 by ECSNatale
Yes FreiburgandCambridge because it is clear based on your level of intelligence that those two would be your parents.
20:30 November 10, 2010 by marimay
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
07:59 November 11, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
I honestly have no real opinion on this except the fear that ss soon as we have a couple of gay players, we will have to suffer so much more childish German TV humour and gay jokes.

It would be a script waiting to be written for Bully Herbig!
10:10 November 11, 2010 by Gaffers
I think it was in the 80s that Justin Fashanu came out as a gay footballer in the UK and he was subjected to a lot of abuse. However times have moved on considerably and even, if on average, football crowds attracts a more homophobic element than is present in society overall it would not last if more players came out. It would be a positive step all round.

I doubt at all if we would even hear comments like "he's a player who likes to get around the back" or "He works hard and likes to get his head down". (sorry :-))
11:18 November 11, 2010 by tallady
A persons sexuality is their business ,It should have no effect on anybody else.The only issue is how well a player plays,not their sexuality.I would prefer not to know it's none of my business and I could care less about the subject.
13:51 November 11, 2010 by lordkorner
Assuming Gomez is not gay its easy for him to come out with this statement,no pun intended.
15:42 November 11, 2010 by SockRayBlue
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:01 November 11, 2010 by Gaffers
Polite and Self controlled? oh please ! So Homosexuals are not polite nor self controlled? Nice stereotyping and generalisation. That section of society harm no one and are vilified for their lifestyles. Religious, political and racist zealots are far more worthy of your scorn. They do more harm to society.

You may not agree but you have to acknowledge the gay community. It is real. Denial doesn't change anything.

It is not "Odd" behaviour and it is that kind of bigotory that is the root cause of this whole problem and discussion.
23:06 November 11, 2010 by nolibs
Who the hell cares? Seriously, does it matter if they are homosexual or hetero? Why is this news and why do they need to wear their sexuality on their sleeves to play football? Should swingers come out too so they can be "unshackled"? What people do in their bedrooms should stay there and has not place on the field or elsewhere.
05:18 November 12, 2010 by wenddiver
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
06:00 November 12, 2010 by NeilFootball
Gomez is right. And perhaps those gay players who know their colleagues are gay should all of them come out together, same day, same time, across their cities, perhaps even after a match, both winning teams and loosing teams... then we'll see how homophobic fans react to the surprising number of gay players who until that point they supported !

To those who say they don't care about who their football players sleep with or love, well, just don't be blind. We may be in the 21st century, but gay hate crimes surprisingly exist, even in the developped world. An occasional insult can be tolerated, but we are seeing murders. So, guys, don't fool yourself into thinking you are the only people who watch football. There are loads of other people who would definitely want to throw a glass bottle right at their goal keeper's face if they knew he's gay.

And those of you saying other sports are better, hey guys, have some sportsmanship. It is not just about enjoying your game but also respecting other sports. There may be more money in football, which makes it all the more difficult for the players to keep away from limelight when they play well, and their private lives come under public scrutiny. But why should it change your respect for a sport in its very essence?

Being a gay footballer doesn't really alter whether you are a male or half-male or such stupid question. Just before a player comes out, you like him. But just after that you hate him. Do you depend on him for the bread on your plate? Very likely not! So just as you exercise the right to walk hand in hand with your wife or girl friend, let him do the same with whom he loves without being attacked or sacked, even when the paparazzi tries to destroy his carreer. Show that you know how to respect someone who's different from you.
08:58 November 12, 2010 by jlmcnamara
Um, has he ever watched women's soccer?
15:51 November 12, 2010 by Deutschguy
The financial issue for gay footballers is losing out on, or not being selected for, endorsement of products. That's huge bucks that might be jeopardized if the companies who hire footballers know the player is gay and the gay player is out.

If the target market of your product is macho men or families, having an openly gay footballer might not be the best advertising choice. Not that the negative prejudice is justified, but it probably is a revenue and public image consideration.

That's the main reason gay players stay in the closet.
19:12 November 12, 2010 by secondlanguage
Yes, many of us Germans have known all about our soccer-lovebirds for a while.

Well, at least many suspected quite a lot for quite some time!

I can only say I plainly love them both and they warm my heart! Most uplifting

occurence that ever happened in soccer.

From an emotional point of view, I would just be delighted if they stood up for

each other and admitted their love.

But, on the other hand, I want to see them play their exceptional and gifted

football again, and if they´re coming out, I fear maybe they won´t, which is

just sad. This must change:

What would happen to them afterwards, when they´re out on the court again?

Audience is an unknown factor, granted. Of course there are tolerant,

sophisticated fans, but there are also the guys who treat football as a kind

of substitute-war, and I´m sure those twits can´t wait to yell "pansy" or "queer".

Another unknown factor are the referees; if they behave homophobic, who

is going to stop them from doing so?

Contracts and sponsors will be another point.

If they want to be represented by an openly gay player is dubious, it´s a shame!

Everything that should matter is the football they´re playing,

they´re both brilliant and unmistakeable.

Since after the world-championship, when this threat about "outing them" came

up, they´ve been sick with worry, clearly.

I can´t stand to see them like that, because for years they´ve been a source of

joy. Real rays of sunlight.

I wish them all the very best from the bottom of my heart, standing up for each

other, being true to each other and somehow keep up their career as well.
19:18 November 12, 2010 by randyman1956
There's so many more important things in life that I feel it's irrelevant if someone is gay. We should be striving to solve world issues. I'm not gay and I'm certainly not threatened by anyone who is. I've served in the military and I'm sure some of my fellow soldiers were/are gay and I had no problems with them. I think for their own safety that gays shouldn't openly flaunt homosexual activities. I have no problem letting them know that I'm not interested and that's that. I enjoy all sports and I don't care if a player is gay or not. I think it's stupid to stigmatize someone because they're gay. I'll refer to gays just like any other athlete. Shut up and play.
19:39 November 12, 2010 by Icarusty
Why, it is completely irrelevant. Does anyone go into their workplace and say, hey everyone I'm straight and I like women? It's just stupid.
01:30 November 13, 2010 by dunlenmer
I'm sure C. Ronaldo will be the first to come out.
10:08 November 15, 2010 by lmichaelj
N E W S F L A S H :

They are already showering together !

NEWS FLASH II:

The world did not end.
Today's headlines
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd