YOU CAN COUNT ON US: GERMAN FOOTBALLERS SUPPORT GAY FOOTBALLERS
18 February 2021
With the hashtag #ihrkönntaufunszählen (english: you can count on us) , 800 football players in Germany are making a statement in support of gay footballers and against homophobia. Currently, there are no out male-footballers in the German professional leagues. As a solidarity campaign, the German magazine 11FREUNDE released an issue highlighting solidarity statements of different players such as Max Kruse (Union Berlin), Altmuth Schult (Vfl Wolfsburg), Jonas Hector (FC Köln), Amos Pieper (Arminia Bielefeld), Nicklas Stark (Herta BSC) and many others.
“WE’RE ON YOUR SIDE”
In a joint statement, 800 male and female footballers in Germany state that: „It’s 2021 and yet there is not a single openly queer football player in the men’s top leagues. The fear of receiving hostility, marginalisation and risking their career after coming out is still so big that gay football players feel that they need to hide their sexuality. Nobody should be forced to come out. That’s a decision each person has to make by themselves. But we want to make clear that everyone who decides to do so will have our full support and solidarity. It’s a fundamental human right for everybody to be able to be open about their sexuality. Because only those who can be truly themselves can carry out their job with joy. That’s why we want to say to everyone who is struggling with this decision: we will support you and defend you if necessary against any sort of hostility. You’re doing the right thing and we’re on your side.”
The solidarity campaign is in stark contrast with the words of Philipp Lahm, the former Bayern München player. Lahm has stated at multiple occasions that he would advice gay footballers not to come out during their career due to the possible problems in their direct environment and homophobic abuse by fans that might follow. As an indirect response, Max Kruse stated: “If one of my teammates would come out, I would protect them from the idiots ‘outside’”. Teammate Christopher Trimmel from Union Berlin adds: “if a teammate chose to come out, they would get the full support they needed from me.”
EFDN STAFF SUPPORTS CAMPAIGN
Show Racism the Red Card Europe is an EFDN initiative that aims to promote diversity and respect. EFDN staff joined the #ihrkönntaufunszählen campaign.