There are footballing families and sporting siblings, relatives who have excelled in the ring, inside the ropes or on the court. But there are not too many married couples who play in the same team.
Swansea City wingers Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge tied the knot in low key fashion at Morgans Hotel on July 1st having entered a relationship with one another nearly four years ago.
“We have always got each other’s back,” Nathan told BBC Sport Wales. “On the field or off the field, it’s nice to know we have got each other if something happens.”
“And you always pack my bag,” adds Nathan through a smile. “I can’t remember the last time I packed my own bag.”
As you are probably aware, this is made-up. Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge are not married (as far as I’m aware) and there are still no gay male footballers………
These quotes are from Swansea Ladies team Kelly and Sarah Adams who actually are married and play in the same team…. Which is perfectly normal and accepted.
As the openly gay USA ladies captain snubs Donald Trump for his views on LBGT rights, we have to wonder why it is acceptable for female footballers to be gay but not their male counterparts and would anyone really care in the slightest today if two male footballers ‘came out’?
A survey by Staffordshire University showed that more than 90% of football fans would not hold any hostility to a footballer coming out, and suggested that most fans would stand by a gay player who played for their club. The survey showed that most fans expected there would be an openly gay footballer by 2015, and that this would be good for improving the attitude towards homosexuality in the sport.
But 90% still leaves 10% of people who would have an issue with that, which seems far higher than I would imagine. Are football fans really that stupid and behind in the times?
The world is moving quickly, In the 90’s Graeme Le Saux, endured homophobic taunts despite being married to a woman with children. The rumours allegedly began because of his “unladdish hobbies” which included antique collecting. Le Saux famously became involved in a running series of taunts with Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler. Fowler repeatedly bent over and pointed his backside in the Chelsea player’s direction. This seems like it was from a different era, Fowler would face an insanely lengthy ban from both the FA and Liverpool if this was today.
Alan Smith said on the latest taboo in football “I’ve had players over the years who were single and read books and so others [other players] said they must be gay…I think being openly gay would be something very difficult to live with in football…. You can get drunk and beat up your wife and that’s quite acceptable, but if someone were to say ‘I’m gay’, it’s considered awful. It’s ridiculous.”
From 2007 onwards, homophobic chanting at football grounds was explicitly outlawed by the FA. Spurs have a system in place to allow fans to report any anti-gay chanting and Manchester City are the first Premiership club to have been recognised by pressure group Stonewall as a gay-friendly employer.
In 2009, a football team was named after openly gay footballer Justin Fashanu. The Justin Fashanu All-stars is open to both homosexual and heterosexual players.In July 2012, Liverpool F.C. have announced their participation in Liverpool Pride.
In 2013, Stonewall in conjunction with Paddy Power, launched the ‘Right Behind Gay Footballers’ campaign, distributing rainbow coloured laces to every professional football player in the UK. Only 2 players in over 5000 professional football players have ‘come out’ as openly gay, a scenario which has odds of over 1 million to 1. The aim of the campaign was to ask players to show support for gay football players and to ‘kickstart a fundamental change in attitude.’ Players from 52 different clubs wore the laces to show support for gay players and the campaign received over 320 million Twitter impressions, making it the one of the most successful Twitter campaigns in the UK to date.
You still feel that it is only a matter of time before a top player does come out and I could be wrong but I don’t believe that the football community is quite as barbaric as what it once was.
Congratulations to Kelly and Sarah Adams!