The Premier League kicks off in exactly a week’s time, and I bet I know what you’re thinking – why aren’t there any gay players in the league? It’s 2018, for Christ’s sake.
OK, so maybe my psychic ability has waned slightly – I think England doing well at a World Cup busted it completely – and you weren’t thinking that, but it’s a fair question.
And it’s one we at Paddy Power are going to be asking this weekend in our distinctly subtle approach to all things marketing.
Yeah, alright, you can forget that – we’ll be shouting it at Brighton Pride, the UK’s biggest LGBTQ event, which is being headlined by Britney Spears.
And, no, this isn’t just an excuse to re-live our teenage crushes from the 90s. Some of the team here are actually so old that they were full-on adults by the time ‘Hit Me Baby…’ came out.
But I digress. In the UK, there are around a million people who identify as LGBTQ, equating to one in 50.
And, yet, of the 500 or so players who’ll be registered in Premier League squads this month, not a single one is gay.
It just doesn’t make sense. And we’re calling football on it.
Last year, FA Chairman Greg Clarke said he was aware of at least two gay Premier League players, and that he was “personally ashamed” that neither feels safe enough to come out.
We couldn’t agree more.
The world’s best-watched league should reflect the community around it.
We’re calling on the Premier League to boot itself into 2018, and create a welcoming environment for its first gay player.
An out gay Premier League footballer would have an extraordinary effect – not just on the LGBTQ community, but society in general.
So come on lads, the supporters will still come out to cheer you on. Now’s the time for you to come out and play.