English football has come a long way since the uber-machismo drinking culture which was ubiquitous in the late s, but there is still progress to be made. We have eked towards a progressive society where gay people can feel more comfortable opening up about their sexuality, and the time has come for football, as a reflection of society, to echo that environment. England is a country with over 4, professional players; playing for teams in the Premier League. When you consider that two percent of the UK male population identify as gay, it is quite shocking that there has only been one high-profile footballer who has ever come out during his playing career. After all, Le Saux is a heterosexual man with a wife and two children.
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Two members of a first-team squad believe they have become bullying victims, after homophobic gossip about them allegedly spread through the dressing room. Homemade posters mocking their friendship were even put up around the training ground, it has been claimed. Gay rights campaigner has called for anyone responsible for homophobic behaviour to be suspended by the club or the FA. See more articles by Buzz Contributor. Sign up to our newsletter! You may see ads that are less relevant to you.
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It is five years since Stan Collymore retired from premiership football yet his name still appears frequently in the press, although not, as he sees it, in the proper context. Since retirement, the year-old has started an acting career, made a TV programme, commentated for the BBC and written a memoir, in which he confessed to making an aborted suicide attempt after years of suffering from untreated depression. His public image, however, is still frozen in , when he punched his then-girlfriend Ulrika Jonsson in a bar in Paris and became the symbol of everything that was wrong with football. Collymore has not completed the usual tabloid cycle of public exposure, remorse via exclusive interview, pages and redemption, through which fallen heroes are traditionally laundered. He has stalled at the remorse stage, forgiveness withheld, and is still referred to in tones generally reserved for paedophiles - hysterical disgust.