The Leeds United dressing room would accept a player coming out as gay, Patrick Bamford claims

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Leeds United’s star striker Patrick Bamford insists that the Leeds United dressing room would be welcoming to a player who came out as gay in a new Channel Four documentary.

The Whites number nine features in Football’s Coming Out, a documentary exploring the challenges facing Premier League footballers making public their homosexuality which was released on digital platforms on Tuesday.

Bamford offers a player’s perspective amid a star-studded line-up of footballing voices, including Joleon Lescott and Ian Holloway, to the one-off hour-long programme that imagines what the roadmap for a footballer hoping to come out as gay might look like.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Met respond to Leeds United fan being felled by officer and second incident at W...

No Premier League player has come out since Justin Fashanu, who later committed suicide after facing homophobic abuse, became the first player to do so in October 1990, with only a handful of footballers across the Football League, including former Whites player Robbie Rogers, making the leap.

Football's Coming Out, produced by Bullion Productions, asks why, consulting a host of relevant parties within football - players, agents, analysts, managers, and more - to investigate the barriers facing LGBTQ+ players in one of the world’s most popular sports.

In front of the Channel Four cameras, Bamford explained what might happen if a United player told his teammates he was gay.

“I know in our changing room, I don’t think there would be too much of a reaction,” the striker said.

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford. Pic: Andrew Yates.Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford. Pic: Andrew Yates.
Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford. Pic: Andrew Yates.

“Everyone would just be like ‘okay.’

“It shouldn’t be that big a deal in this day and age.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I would let them know that if they have any worries or issues, if they need to talk to someone, then I am here to talk to.

“Don’t think just because you’ve come out that anything has changed.

Justin Fashanu. Pic: AllsportUK.Justin Fashanu. Pic: AllsportUK.
Justin Fashanu. Pic: AllsportUK.

“We’re still mates. Nothing should change.”

Bamford’s appearance in Football’s Coming Out will help to inspire important conversations, according to Stephen Wignal, chair of the Leeds United LGBT+ supporters group, Marching Out Together.

“Patrick being an active ally, putting himself out there and saying ‘I want to talk about this issue because it means a lot to me’ is great to see,” Wignal said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“When you've got Premier League players talking about LGBT+ inclusion in football, it gets people talking, which raises the profile of the issue for those who aren’t aware, or don’t understand it.

A Marching Out Together banner on the Elland Road pitch. Pic: George Wood.A Marching Out Together banner on the Elland Road pitch. Pic: George Wood.
A Marching Out Together banner on the Elland Road pitch. Pic: George Wood.

“Statistically there has to be some players in the Premier and lower leagues that are gay - it's impossible that it wouldn't be the case.

“It’s one of the only walks of life or occupations in this country where people can’t be themselves, and I think that's really sad.

“The more we can have these conversations the better, because there's got to be a kind of strategy to support these players.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click HERE to subscribe.