England manager Gareth Southgate praises Jake Daniels’ bravery in coming out
England boss Gareth Southgate has hailed the bravery of Jake Daniels for becoming the first male professional footballer currently active in the UK to come out as gay and hopes players’ sexuality won’t always be a talking point .
After bursting onto the Blackpool scene this season, the 17-year-old striker has become the first active male professional footballer in Britain to come out since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
England manager Southgate has joined the great and good in football and beyond to praise Daniels, who he hopes finds football a more tolerant and safer place than through the past.
“First of all, I think Jake has incredible support from within the game and I think everyone admires his bravery – someone so young to take this step,” the Three Lions boss said. .
“It’s sad that we speak this way because, frankly, in any other area of life, someone’s sexuality wouldn’t even be questioned or discussed. .
“So that’s the bridge that we all know had to be crossed and it’s opened up that possibility for everyone now.
“It’s great that he did this and I hope others feel the confidence and the support that they feel they can do this.
“It remains to be proven if there is more tolerance from the terraces, from everywhere, really, in the game and I think the support is there.
“I know for sure that in the dressing room and in the game, the people I talk to are like that.
“So yeah, let’s hope that’s the start and actually in a few years it’s not a discussion anymore, there’s less around an individual.
“I hope there are many more now who feel free to follow because for sure there will be other gay players, who at the moment don’t feel confident enough to follow the steps that Jake took.”