UN official: Gay soccer players at the World Cup should declare sexuality

Gay soccer players at the World Cup in Brazil should declare their sexual orientation to help make gays and lesbians accepted around the world, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said on Monday.

APSouth African Navanethem 'Navi' Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
APNavi Pillay

Reuters reports that Pillay, speaking with reporters in Geneva after addressing a meeting on equality in sports, said it was “a shame, in this day and age”, that people “had to hide who they really are.”

“I encourage players, sports people to declare their sexual orientation without fear,” she said.

“That’s the only way they will find the right to sexual orientation accepted. They are role models, it’s important to send this message to their fans as well,” added Pillay.

Pillay also warned governments that bid for major sporting competitions that they needed to give far more thought to how their bid would affect human rights.

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