Thomas Hitzlsperger, a recently retired English Premier League star, has announced that he is gay, according the the Guardian.
Hitzlsperger came out in German newspaper Die Zeit in a long interview.
Hitzlsperger told Die Zeit:
“It’s been a long and difficult process” [of becoming aware of being gay]. Only in the last few years have I realised that I preferred living together with a man … In England, Italy and Germany being a homosexual is no big thing, at least not in the dressing room. I was never ashamed of being who I am but it was not always easy to sit on a table with 20 young men and listen to jokes about gays. You let them get on with it as long as the jokes are somewhat funny and not too insulting.
After the article came on in Die Zeit Hitzlsperfer tweeted:
I feel now of all time is the right time to break the news too. I now wish this is the start of many more who feel pressure to break it. TH
— Thomas Hitzlsperger (@ThomasHitzl) January 8, 2014
Hitzlsperger played most of his career with Aston Villa and VfB Stuttgart, and played his last year before retiring with Everton.
MLS player Robbie Rogers came out last year during a brief retirement and returned to play in MLS with the L.A. Galaxy. NBA player Jason Collins also came out in 2013 and is currently a free agent.
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