U.K. soccer star Matt Jarvis appears on the February cover of Attitude, Britain’s leading gay magazine, and says it is time that a gay footballer felt comfortable enough to come out.
Jarvis, who is straight, told Attitude that homosexuality was now “everyday life” and not “something that’s going to be a shock.”
“I’m sure there are many footballers who are gay, but when they decide to actually come out and say it, it is a different story. It’s one that I’m sure they’ve thought about many times. But it’s a hard thing for them to do,” he said.
“There’d be support everywhere within the football community, whether it be players, fans or within the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association). There would definitely be groups of people who would be supportive and help them through it.”
Jarvis, 26, a winger for the West Ham United in London, is only the third footballer to appear on the cover of Attitude in its 19-year history. David Beckham, who appeared in 2002, and Freddie Ljungberg who followed four years later, led the way.
Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude, said it was time football started tackling homophobia in the same way it addressed racism.