Gay Scottish footballer Zander Murray reveals ‘horrible’ homophobic hate mail sent to his club

Photo of Zander Murray with a teammate's arm draped around him

Zander Murray, the first top-flight Scottish footballer to come out as gay, has revealed the “horrible” homophobic hate mail that has been sent to his club.

The Gala Fairydean Rovers player, who said he was “humbled” by the support from fans after his historic coming out in September, explained that several hateful leaflets were sent directly to him at his club, including one titled “Homosexuality in light of the Bible”.

He tweeted on Saturday (22 October): “Don’t mind trolls on social media, but to go out your way and send hate mail to my club… Such horrible words and so out of touch with reality.”

He jokingly added that his dog would bite the “derrières” of anyone who sent hate mail. 

Several of Murray’s supporters condemned the homophobic hate mail, with one social media user adding that Murray represented a “positive role model” in football.

“Those disgusting trolls represent a sad small minority, they have no place in a progressive inclusive [Scotland],” the post said. 

“You are a positive role model in a sport that has allowed homophobia and racism to pass as banter for way too long.”

The response to Zander Murray coming out as gay in September has been far more positive than hateful, however, as a young footballer said he was “inspired” by Murray to come out to his teammates.

At the beginning of October, Murray shared a message from a fan who said as a “young footballer I find it difficult to be myself”, however his teammates were “super supportive” after coming out.

The message added: “I just wanted to tell you that you’ve been a massive inspiration for me to come out to teammates and family.”

Zander Murray explained in an interview with Sky Sports that before coming out publicly, he had been “living in fear 24/7”.

“You’re hiding your phone in case you get messages from friends, constantly double-checking if you have a team night out, you’re cautious with what you’re saying,” he said.

“It’s very hard.”

He said, however, that the support he’d received since coming out had been “incredible” and added he couldn’t have done it “at a better time at a better club”.