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Footballer legend Howard Gayle says a lot of people believe being gay is a choice

Footballer legend Howard Gayle says a lot of people believe being gay is a choice

Howard Gayle is fighting against homophobia in football

Top football player Howard Gayle, the first black person to play for Liverpool, has said other players believe being gay is a choice.

The 58-year-old was offered a MBE earlier this year because of his work stopping racism in football.

However it is not only race that is a serious problem in the game, he says.

‘Homophobia is an issue and it’s something we tackle in our programs,’ Gayle said on the Victoria Derbyshire Show.

‘A lot of people still live in the dark ages and think sexuality is part of a choice and that they choose that path of gay or straight.

‘We try to get the message out that it doesn’t really matter.’

Gayle recently turned down an MBE, a Member of the Order of the British Empire, because it goes against his values.

He believes the title should be altered so there is no reference to Empire.

‘If they want to be inclusive and accepting of black people around the UK and the Commonwealth, then they need to change the title of it – as it’s an exclusive club being an MBE or OBE or one of those gongs,’ Gayle said.

‘A lot of people around the world contacted me to say they accepted my decision and that the title of MBE did rankle.’