Swedish soccer player Anton Hysén reveals he is gay | inside World Soccer

Swedish soccer player Anton Hysén reveals he is gay

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Swedish soccer player Anton Hysén has made local headlines after coming out as gay.

Anton Hysén is Sweden's first openly gay soccer player
Anton Hysén is Sweden's first openly gay soccer player

While Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, Welsh rugby ace Gareth Thomas and most recently England cricketer Steve Davies are among those high-profile sports stars to have declared that they are gay, being gay in the world of international soccer remains a taboo.

"I might not play in the top league, but I want to prove that there is no big deal if I'm a footballer and also gay," Hysén told Offside magazine.

"If I perform as a footballer, then I do not think it matters if I like men or women.

"There will always be people who can't tolerate gay people, just like there are people who can't tolerate immigrants.

"A club might be interested in me and then the coach might change his mind if he finds out I'm gay, but that is his problem not mine."

The 20-year-old, who plays in the Swedish second division for Utsiktens BK, is the son of former Liverpool defender Glenn Hysén and is thought to be the only player currently playing in Sweden to have come out, and is possibly the only out soccer player currently playing in Europe.

"It's totally sick when you think about it," Hysen said about the lack of openly gay soccer players.

"It's so f****d up, everything. Where the hell is everyone else?"

Justin Fashanu, a highly acclaimed young British footballer, publicly came out in the 1990s even though his sexuality had been known in footballing circles for quite some time.

With the game suffering under heavily ingrained homophobia, Fashanu's sexuality contributed heavily to the demise of his career.

Fashanu tragically took his own life in May, 1998, and while it is true to say that his later years were certainly troubled, it is widely believed that his treatment at the hands of former managers and family members contributed to his suicide.

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