Politicians and celebrities have given their support to the #ComeOut2Play campaign, which has already reached more than 23 million people.
In total an extraordinary 23,895,465 people have recognised the need to support gay and bi male footballers in the British game who are too afraid to come out.
The Thunderclap Campaign has already dwarfed other drives on the site, with support from Labour’s David Lammy MP, John Bishop, Denise Welch, Piers Morgan, Sarah Brown, Alan Carr and many more.
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) December 5, 2017
A tweet from Denise Welch has been shared by fans and liked by hundreds of supporters. Wearing a T-shirt bearing the same slogan, she said simply: “Some footballers are gay. Get over it.”
— Denise Welch (@RealDeniseWelch) December 3, 2017
The campaign asks fans to state their support for gay and bi footballers who have told the campaign privately that they would like to come out but they are concerned about the response they’d get from their clubs and supporters.
Gay Times, Stonewall, Sport Allies and many more campaign groups have given their backing to the campaign. It comes off the back of the hugely successful Rainbow Laces campaign which saw football clubs and players across the country come together in solidarity with the LGBT+ community.
#ComeOut2Play campaign co-leader, David Haigh told journalists last month he knows of ‘at least 20’ top flight footballers in the English leagues who are concerned about coming out.
The push for support is not aimed at pressuring players to come out if they don’t want to; more it’s intended to create a supportive environment for those who choose to be open.
Former Premiership executive, David Haigh said: “I know a lot (of gay and bi players) and by a lot I’m saying double figures and personally I think if they all came out at the same time they’d be okay.”
His comments come after Belgium defender Carl Hoefkens revealed he’d played with two premier league footballers who were openly gay but were publicly ‘in the closet’.
David Haigh was MD at Leeds United FC between 2013-2014 and was open about his sexuality with board members and fans.
He said some players are open about being gay with teammates even though they feel too scared to tell their fans: “Footballers aren’t hiding it from the people they know. They go to gay bars and they don’t hide their partners.
You can join the campaign and show your support for gay and bi supporters by signing the Thunderclap campaign and tweeting to your own followers.