'He is gay, so what?' - Former Chelsea star with perfect response to Hitzlsperger news

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben does not see what all the fuss is about ... suggesting it should not be a big deal for a professional footballer to be gay in the 21st century.

When Thomas Hitzlsperger came out yesterday the media storm it generated was huge. In any other walk of life such a furore over another human beings apparent sexual orientation would be thought of absurd.

But this is professional football - where only four such cases are currently prevalent.

The stigma surrounding the culture of football has always made it unlikely that a player would be open about their homosexuality whilst still playing the game - and that has proven true in many respects.

Robbie Rodgers retired after he came out (the former Leeds United winger has since returned to football) and Hitzlsperger’s career ended in September because of persistent injury problems.

Indeed former NBA basketball player said yesterday that football was ‘toxic’ for gay men. But the vast majority of the response to Hitzlsperger has been positive.

‘Der Hammer’ has received warm wishes, good lucks and thanks from fellow pro’s, pundits, coaches and complete strangers from all around the globe - so perhaps it is not such a big issue as we think it is.

But then, on the very same day, it emerged that former Chelsea player Alex had made comments in the French media (without knowing of the Hitzlsperger news) that caused much indignation:

"God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Yves".

But another former Chelsea player has come back with perhaps the most positive response I have heard so far.

Arjen Robben was questioned on the subject today, as Hitzlsperger is a former Bayern Munich player it always a likely line of questioning.

And the Dutch winger stated:

“I can say that I am heterosexual. He is gay, so what? It makes no difference. It is something human that has nothing to do with sport."

That is how it should be when a footballer ‘reveals’ they are gay. The fact that Hitzlsperger is gay should be as irrelevant as Robben being straight or David Beckham being married.

The private life of a footballer is not for prying - and in the 21st century the fact that a professional footballer is gay should not cause such a storm.

Hopefully the day will come when it does not.

image: © Lorenzo Blangiardi

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