The rainbow flag shines strongly during LGBT pride week in the headquarters of official organizations, in associations that fight against homophobia or on the balconies and windows of private people. However, in the world of football, sexual freedom remains a taboo subject. It is true that more and more steps are being taken and efforts are being made to break down that heavy slab that is homophobia, but the road ahead is very long.
The beautiful game is very closed in terms of the sexual orientation of those who practice it and few players dare to publicly express their homosexuality for fear of what they will say of all those who are part of this world, from their fellow professionals passing by the press and the fans themselves. The worth of a player and his quality do not depend on whether he likes men or women. The homophobic insult, the word fag continues to be heard on the football fields of all categories and countries and on social networks to make less of a player. For many, more than I would like, soccer is still a men’s thing, but not just any man, but straight white men and that is a barrier that should have been overcome long ago. Soccer belongs to everyone and for everyone and this sport must open up more without hesitation. There is no decree that establishes who is suitable and who is not to play football, the only limit is talent.
The organizations linked to football have been promoting initiatives to support women’s football for a long time and UEFA itself proudly boasts that it is one of the champions against racism. The same UEFA that opened an investigation against Manuel Neuer for wearing the rainbow armband or that has prohibited the Allianz Arena from projecting the LGBT flag in tonight’s Germany – Hungary on political grounds. And no, sexual freedom is not a political cause, it is a right and from the highest spheres of the world of football, homophobia should be fought with the same zeal that racism or machismo are fought.
As long as homosexuality is a taboo subject in this sport, there will be many players who do not dare to express themselves freely as they are and football will continue to be seen as a closed world for “men”, that specific profile of men. In other areas subject to public opinion such as cinema, music or even politics, there are not so many obstacles for a person to shout from the rooftops what he feels and for that to happen in football at all levels, you have to keep working to eradicate homophobic behaviors and understand that sexual orientation does not make you a better or a worse player, nor more valid or unworthy to jump onto the pitch.