Out British actor Russell Tovey said
this week that he hopes a football player will come out gay in the
next few years.
Tovey plays a closeted football player
in The Pass, which had its world premiere this week at BFI
Flare: London LGBT Film Festival.
In the film, Tovey reprises the role of
Jason, which he first portrayed on the West End stage in 2014.
“I hope it happens within the next
few years,” Tovey told the Evening
Standard before the film's premiere. “It just takes one
person to be brave enough to do it.”
this month, the niece of Justin Fashanu, who became the UK's
first openly gay professional football player in 1990 and took his
own life eight years later, said that she knew of at least seven
closeted football players in the Premier League.
“They are going to be elevated to
some level beyond what they are doing in sport,” Tovey added. “And
if you are the first person to do that, then it is a terrifying
prospect because of the attention that it is going to get.”
“Football crowds are so tribal, it's
gladiatorial, and they seize on any weakness their opponents show and
sadly, in football, being gay is still seen as a weakness.”