Frank Lampard has said that he would love for a professional footballer player to have the courage to come out as gay.
The Manchester City player made the remark during an appearance on Alan Carr: Chatty Man this week, when the comedian insisted that, statisically speaking, at least one of the 5000 or so professional football players in the UK must be gay.
‘We have had a couple come out afterwards,’ Lampard told Carr, explaining that it’s up to the sport to create an environment where it’s safe for players to come out.
‘I think it is a fact they will be out there, they are in all lives and times, but we are at fault as a sport. It is that old syndrome where it is a man’s game and you can’t talk about that.’
He continued: ‘I have to say the game is changing a lot, there are a lot of campaigns and I feel it in the dressing rooms.’
‘I would love it if someone came out and everyone treated it with respect. This silly thing that we are macho and we play football is very old hat,’ he added.
Currently, there are no openly gay professional football players in the UK. Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger came out last year, but only after he had announced his retirement from the game.
Alan Carr: Chatty Man airs tonight in the UK on Channel 4.