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Lahm says gay footballers better off in the closet

The Local · 18 May 2011, 14:08

Published: 18 May 2011 14:08 GMT+02:00

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"For someone who does, it would be very difficult," the 27-year-old defender said.

"An openly gay footballer would be exposed to abusive comments."

But Lahm insists he would feel comfortable playing alongside an openly gay teammate. "I have no problems with homosexuals whatsoever," he insisted.

Lahm's comments are likely to land him in hot water with the German Football Federation (DFB) whose president Theo Zwanziger has called for gay footballers to come out and promised the federation's help.

"I would find it brave and would welcome it if a football player would come out," Zwanziger said in March.

"He would have the support of the DFB and from me."

Last November, Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez gave an interview – also to Bunte - where he urged gay footballers to come out of the closet.

"They would play as if they had been liberated. Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic," said Gomez, the German league's top-scorer last season.

He added that there were plenty of role models in German society to inspire gay players to come out including Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit.

Story continues below…

And Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who plays for Champions League semi-finalists Schalke 04, has also said homosexual footballers should feel free to go public.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:54 May 18, 2011 by ame64
Semms like Gomez doesnt have a clue. Westerwelle and Wowereit are in no way whatsoever role models. Westerwelle did such a terrible job that he is now political history and as for Wowereit, well just look at Berlin.
16:47 May 18, 2011 by wood artist
In the absence of any experience, it's hard to know how fans and the public would react. Some would openly support the player, while others undoubtedly would not. I don't think this is really an issue about football.

Coming out is a personal decision, and I suspect each person has different reasons for the choices they make. Coming out means some pressure might be relieved, but new problems arise. Staying in must be equally challenging.

In short, it's too bad we still worry about such things. Hopefully the day will come when we don't feel the need to describe anyone by that single trait. Hopefully, some day, descriptors such as black, or gay, or muslim, or "whatever" cease to matter and we can treat each other simply as fellow humans.

19:59 May 18, 2011 by lordkorner
I look at Berlin all the time, and I love it.
08:27 May 19, 2011 by Gilly58
Nothing wrong with Berlin ole chap, it is and remaon a hip and cool place to be. As for the coming out business, who the f**k really cares.
09:16 May 19, 2011 by ame64
Its simple. A team can only work well if all the team members get on and trust each other. Now also knowing that there is a joint shower or bath after ther game really doesnt help if you know the guy next to you is gay.

Its a normal hetro response to such a thing.

As for Berlin, well I think its finances says it all.
11:05 May 19, 2011 by Kayak
@ame64: Don't knock it until you try it!!!

16:27 May 19, 2011 by Johnne

why are they not rolemodels? and äh? what is wrong with Berlin?
12:54 May 20, 2011 by ame64
OK, There are thousands of Hetro politicians etc., but thankfully, only a handfull of gay ones. All of a sudden the gay ones are considered role models, does a light go on here?

Berlin is totally over rated. I guess if I lived there by choice then maybe I would like it too. But from my visits and of course what I read and see, Berlin really leaves a lot to desire.

Just my opinion.....
19:12 May 20, 2011 by lmichaelj
stay in the closet...but i have no problem with homosexuals. next he'll say, "some of my best friends are homosexuals." errr, NO he won't. but i do believe that he will probably soon announce his Republican candidacy for US President soon. maybe he'll join the Palin ticket.

i'm just sayin'...
08:29 May 29, 2011 by Masmuka
Wow this discussion has a livid smack of old Hitler Times when people who were convicted during the Act or suspended by intriguers carried off into Concentration Camps.

But Imagine just in 1994 the Bundestag decided a homosexual life is without punishment. In what kind a progressing Nation we live ????!!!!
04:21 May 31, 2011 by Scottrocks9
Why should it be an issue at all? If someone plays football and is good enough to play professionally, why should it even be brought up? Common sense and being practical should rule in everything, including being a gay footballer. And Berlin and Germany are the best places I have ever been in my entire life.
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