Britain's first openly gay footballer says there's 'definitely' more homosexual players
| Last updated
Britain's first openly gay footballer has insisted that there are 'definitely' more homosexual players out there who are yet to come out publicly.
Jake Daniels, who plays for Blackpool F.C. in the EFL Championship league, made the admission during a conversation with former professional footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger for LADbible TV.
Speaking about gay footballers who have not come out, the 18-year-old said: "I don't know of any, I do think that there is. But if there is, you come out when you're ready. You can't force anything, it's their choice.
"I definitely think there's others in football that are gay."
When asked what he thought was preventing those footballers from going public with their sexual orientation, Daniels pointed to public reaction.
Daniels said: "Social media is one massive thing. Being a footballer, you'll get targeted by other fans.
"And I feel like being gay, or racism, is such an easy target for someone to target you for.
"Someone can say you're a rubbish player but if you have come out as gay, that's their first instinct to target you on.
"They'll be shouting 'You're gay' on the pitch, that'll be their first thing. I think for footballers, having such a massive fanbase, I feel like that is the main scare of it. It's social media."
The footballer also reflected on the role that masculinity within the sport plays when it comes to homophobia.
Daniels said: "I always have said, masculinity is a thing and in sport, you have to be strong.
"I feel like people refer to being gay as being weak, which is obviously not it. But I just think social media is the biggest thing, I would say."
His opinions were shared by Hitzlsperger, who previously played for Aston Villa and Everton.
The German footballer came out in 2014, opting to open up after he had retired from football.
Recently, Daniels opened up about how he had met his 'soul mate' shortly after publicly coming out.
Discussing his love life on Rylan Clark's podcast, Daniels said: "I came out and had my Instagram, my Twitter taken off me.
"So I didn’t see anything. I think when I had my Instagram back I had 20,000 message requests or something ridiculous like that, I’d never seen that in my life.
"There was one day, I was about to get on a train and I went on my message requests just to have a gander and the top message was from my [now] partner, just congratulating me.
"I had a sneaky look on his Instagram and I was like, ‘Alright!’ Dropped a message back and said ‘Thank you so much’ – and at the end asked something like ‘Is there anything else I can do for you?’ I knew what my motive was!
"We got chatting from then, we FaceTimed a few times, met up a few days later in Blackpool and we’ve been together ever since."