French soccer player Olivier Giroud believes it is ‘impossible’ to show homosexuality in the sport.
Giroud is a forward for English Premier League (EPL) team, Chelsea, and also plays on the French national team.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Figaro, he shared his thoughts on what it would take for a professional player to come out. In 2012, Giroud appeared on the cover of gay magazine, Têtu.
‘I understand the pain and the difficulty of guys coming out; it’s a real test after working on oneself for years. I am ultra-tolerant on it – when I was in Montpellier I was engaged in this fight by posing for [the magazine] Têtu,’ Giroud said.
‘At Arsenal when they asked me to wear the ‘Rainbow Laces’ in support of the gay community, I did it. There is still a lot of work in the football world on this subject, to say the least.’
In the Le Figaro interview, Giroud recalled watching former Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger come out. Hitzlsperger came out a year after his retirement in 2014 and remains the only out EPL soccer player.
But he said in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro that the experiences of the former Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger – who came out in 2014 – showed that football has yet to come to terms with the modern world.
‘It was very emotional,’ Giroud said.
‘This is when I told myself that it was impossible to display his homosexuality in football. In a changing room, there is a lot of testosterone, rooming together, collective showers… It’s tricky but it’s like that.’