The Gay Soccer Coach

I'm a soccer coach at the collegiate level. I'm gay. This is my story.

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BBC Three documentary to look at homosexuality and football

It has often been said that having openly gay professional footballers would provide good role models for young teens who themselves are coming to terms with their sexuality. The fact that, at the present time, there are no such openly gay, or bisexual, players is often attributed to fears over their careers. It is a widely held belief that players have not come out because they fear doing so would end their professional careers.

Footballer Justin Fashanu came out as gay in the early 1990s and suffered abuse because of it; he later committed suicide. Britain’s Gay Footballers, the BBC Three documentary, will be presented by Amal Fashanu, the niece of Justin Fashanu, and will explore the issues holding back players from coming out.

(Source: axelrod, via pitchinvasion)

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If a friend does not accept you once you reveal who you really are, they are not a friend worth having

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Soccer is a game that brings people from all backgrounds together. Once you cross that white line onto the field, race, religion, sexual orientation - anything that differentiates us is lost - everyone becomes on team with one goal: to win.

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If you don’t have to drag yourself off the field after 90 mins you can’t claim you’ve done your best
Bill Nicholson, Former Tottenham Manager

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Being gay doesn’t affect the way you play soccer. You don’t take a corner differently because you’re gay, nor do you score a goal because you’re gay. Once I step out onto the field, I’m a player just like everyone else - my sexual orientation doesn’t have anything to do with it.
An anonymous college soccer player

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I’ve always known that I was gay, but I didn’t start accepting it until this season. I was actually inspired by one of my younger players, who was comfortable about himself and his homosexuality.

I get comments about him from other players, nothing too negative but it is clear the rest of the team weren’t entirely comfortable with the idea of having someone gay on their team - the main obstacle being when we travel away and the players have to share rooms. Not many players were comfortable sharing with him, even though they attend a school that has is actually very gay friendly.

My main worry with coming out to my team is that I’ll lose a lot of credibility with the players. I’m a decent coach but I’ve also got this job extremely young and so it’s been a struggle to prove myself - and I’m not sure I could effectively continue to gain their trust. It’s not that the players are outwardly homophobic, it’s just a lot of them aren’t accepting of it either. I feel like it is one thing being a gay player, but being a gay coach seems to have so many more challenges. 

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Please submit any stories or experiences you may have had through the ask box on the side. I’ll post the best ones. Through sharing we’ll grow stronger.

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The sport of soccer has never been particularly accepting of gay people and so openly gay players are practically unheard of. Gay coaches are even rarer, so I hope by doing this blog, it will allow more gay people to work openly in the beautiful game.

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