Daily Mirror journalist says there is ‘no chance’ of English football players coming out

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Daily Mirror sports journalist John Cross has stated in an interview with an anti-homophobia in sport website that he cannot see any English footballers coming out in the near future as “our sport has created a dangerous taboo”.

Speaking to thejustincampaign.com, Mr Cross said he didn’t for a moment believe there were no gay professional footballers. He added, “football is part of society. Unless we break down barriers across the whole of society then we can’t expect football to be exempt of such taboos. Can you imagine any other part of society with thousands of people working in the business without a single openly gay employee?”

Mr Cross, a self-confessed football fanatic, said he didn’t believe the Football Association’s heart was really in the fight against homophobia, adding that he was very disappointed that they pulled their video campaign last year.

When asked about homophobia in the sporting press, Mr Cross said that his recent Daily Mirror article about homophobia in football was greeted with “some gentle ribbing” adding that, with a few exceptions, “football journalists aren’t very forward thinking either.”

The idea that continental fans were more tolerant was suggested as a potential ray of hope for gay footballers. Mr Cross said, “I think there is far more acceptance from the rest of Europe. Far more. I think that would be the only way to introduce the issue and then maybe – just maybe – other players would follow.”

Mr Cross said he fully supports The Justin Campaign, which was set up in honour of Justin Fashanu, still the only out professional footballer to date. He committed suicide in 1998.