Tom Daley calls on gay football players to speak publicly about their sexuality

Tom Daley is set to call on professional footballer players who are gay to speak publicly about their sexuality.

In Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message, which is due to air on Christmas Day, the Olympic diver, 27, intends to discuss the lack of openly gay footballers, calling it a problem for the sport, The Times reports.

Daley will say that his “one Christmas wish” is for a homosexual footballer to be comfortable with his sexuality to speak about it in the open.

“That one impossibly brave Premier League player steps forward and says, ‘I am gay’. That person would inspire gay people everywhere, give hope to thousands of teenagers struggling with their sexuality and save the lives of countless young people who don’t currently feel like they have a place in this world,” Daley will say before going on to point out some statistics.

“Nearly seven per cent of people in the UK identify as gay or bisexual and there are around 500 Premier League players.

“That means statistically there are enough [gay] players for three football teams running out onto that pitch every week. At least one gay man at every single club in the Premier League, living a lie.

“In 2022 the World Cup is being held in the second most dangerous country for queer people, Qatar. Why are we allowing places that aren’t safe for all fans and all players to host our most prestigious sporting events?”

Daley will also go on to discuss inclusivity within the sporting world and more generally.

“We can make this country the most accepting, the most inclusive, the most progressive country on Earth.

“What if in Britain anybody could be anything regardless of where they started? What if we all started from the same place. Now wouldn’t that be something to be proud of?”

Channel 4’s Director of Programmes, Ian Katz, said of Daley’s speech: “It is shocking and depressing that our most popular sporting league remains an environment in which no gay player feels able to openly be themselves and we hope Tom’s message will make a small contribution to changing that.”

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