Troy Deeney, the captain of Premier League Watford, has told broadcaster Louis Theroux that there is probably at least one gay player in every football team.
Speaking on the BBC Podcast, Grounded with Louis Theroux, the talismanic skipper said, “I would go on record saying that there is probably one gay or bi person in every football team. They’re there, they are 100% there.
“I think people that are gay or from that community definitely are very worried about having to shoulder the responsibility of being the first. I think once the first comes out, there would be loads.”
Deeney believes that, once one player comes out, many more would follow, telling Theroux: “If he come out and said it, I genuinely believe you would get in the first week at least 100 people that went ‘me too’. Just because they don’t want to be the face of it.”
Deeney, who will wear the captain’s armband as Watford return to action against Leicester on Saturday, continued, “I think there is now a bigger platform than ever to be a gay athlete of any nature.
“I also wonder, why people finish football, rugby, whatever the sport it might be, and then go ‘I am gay’… I feel like it must be a real heavy load to carry throughout all your whole sporting career.”
The only player in British football to come out publicly was former Norwich and Nottingham Forest striker Justin Fashanu who took his own life in 1998, eight years after declaring he was gay.