Liam Davis is spilling the details of a big surprise.
The openly-gay English soccer player told The Telegraph he heard about a group of players coming out as gay in one big announcement.
“Apparently there’s a group of about 20 who are working on this, who have confided in other people,” he said. “The only problem with that is then it would all seem very staged.”
Being Out on the Field
Davis plays for Cleethorpes Town in Lincolnshire, England. He is the only out current athlete at this time. He was accidentally outed in 2014 by a local newspaper, which put him in the spotlight.
“For a non-league footballer it was mental, my phone was doing my head in,” he said. “I can’t imagine what the velocity would be like for any Premier League footballer coming out.”
There are no openly gay soccer players in the English Premier League.
Although he was outed, Davis received support by teammates and his club. He faced several instances of homophobia on the field, but people quickly rushed to Davis’ defense. He encourages other closeted players to step forward.
“It seems to me bizarre that we’re really not getting anywhere, that people are still reluctant to come out,” he said. “I want to tell them that literally I have never had any issues, no problems, nothing but a positive response. If I can get that out there, that football is a wonderfully supportive environment, then I guess I should.”
Now Davis is fronting a new initiative called Equal Game, a campaign that hopes to tackle homophobia in soccer.
“I’ve not done much in terms of pushing my situation, but with it being such a big campaign, I thought it would be good just to share my positive view on things.”