English former professional football player Thomas Beattie has come out as gay. After making the announcement, the footballer, who played for Hull City’s youth team before playing for more than 10 years in the United States, Canada and Singapore, added he felt that he "could not come out whilst playing.
“I literally felt like I had to sacrifice one of the two: who I am, or the sport I loved since before I could remember. I used football as a form of escapism and in many ways it saved me, until I reached the point in life where there was some personal growth. I was standing still on that front. Society [told] me masculinity is linked to sexuality and so being an athlete playing a physical sport felt like a huge contradiction.”
As ‘Daily Mail’ reports, Beattie is only the second professional male football player from the UK to come out, after legend Fashanu in 1990.
“It's still a new and current process for me to be honest,' he says of coming out. 'I told close friends and family three months ago, which was when I decided to embark on the journey of speaking openly about it.
“As an athlete it was something that was unspoken about, which is why I want to share my story in hopes that there will eventually be more support for people in a similar situation.
“I recently started to tell some of my old team mates who have been amazing and treated me not a single ounce differently. They know I'm the same lad I was 10 minutes before telling them so that's been refreshing.”
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