Hitzlsperger Praises Daley, Amaechi, Thomas and Rodgers: 'It's about Visibility'

Gay ex-footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger confirmed the need for visible LGBT role models in his ‘coming out’ interview with the Guardian newspaper.
The retired top professional footballer who has has played for Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton as well as playing for the German national team, told the paper: “It really helped me to see that other professional sports people were acknowledging their sexuality. I read about John Amaechi, Gareth Thomas and Tom Daley. They weren’t footballers but the fact that they went public gave me the feeling that I was not alone. I began to think that I could help other footballers who might be in the same shoes, so that they could see that here’s someone who was even an international. I wanted to encourage them, the way that those guys and Robbie Rogers encouraged me.”
Hitzlsperger, who is only 31 but had to retire through injury, also said that sending a message to Sochi in the light of the anti-homosexuality laws being imposed in Russia was a factor in his decision to reveal his sexual orientation at this time.
To read the full interview go here.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Today programme, ex-professional footballer Graham Le Saux revealed that he has forgiven Robbie Fowler for a notorious act of homophobic sledging committed by the latter way back in 1999. Inspired by Hitzlsperger’s coming out, Fowler apologised on Twitter to the former Chelsea left-back for the incident, which incited Le Saux into such a rage so that he committed an assault that led to both being booked.  Le Saux, now 45, was dogged by rumours about his alleged homosexuality throughout his footballing career, despite being married with children, based on his having a university degree, visiting art galleries, reading The Guardian and being partly French.
www.sport.co.uk –  ‘Time for Football to Grow-Up – Some People are GAY, Get Over It’ :
 http://www.sport.co.uk/football/time-for-football-to-growup-some-people-are-gay-get-over/4557522/