Thomas Hitzlsperger, a former World Cup
player from Germany, has announced he's gay.
“I'm coming out about my
homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about
homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards,”
Hitzlsperger told German daily Die Zeit.
Hitzlsperger said it was “a good
time” to come out.
He said that he only realized “in the
past few years” that he would “prefer to live with another man.”
“I've never been ashamed of the way I
am,” he said, but added that he feared the locker room.
“Just picture 20 men sitting around a
table together drinking – you've just got to let the majority be,
just as long as the jokes are halfway funny and the talk about
homosexuality doesn't get too insulting,” Hitzlsperger
His former team, Aston Villa, offered
its support on Twitter: “Everyone who knows Thomas from his time
here at Villa has great respect for him, not only as the fine player
he was but also as a man.”
Hitzlsperger retired last fall at the
age of 31.