Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford says he would support any team-mate who came out as gay

Speaking to Channel 4’s ‘Football’s Coming Out’, released this Tuesday, the Whites player told the documentary he believed that if any team-mate wanted to come out they would be supported at Elland Road.

By Nick Westby
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 11:51 am

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

“It shouldn’t be that big of an issue in this day and age.

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“Don’t think just because you’ve come out that anything has changed. We’re still mates. Nothing should change.”

Ian Holloway, the former QPR, Leicester and Crystal Palace manager, said he believes football remains homophobic and would “get rid” of any team-mate who reacted negatively.

Holloway, who admitted major problems remain in the game, said: “Being brutally honesty, yeah, I do believe football is homophobic.”

The 58-year-old, who was most recently in charge at Grimsby, said he would be proud if a player under his management came out.

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford. Pic: Jan Kruger.

“It means the trust that I want to build is there,” he said. “I would talk to them before anyone else about what they are gaining from it and why they believe they need to do it. I would encourage them to be their authentic self.”

Holloway added: “You have meetings, you talk about it [with the team]. I think it would be a total relief at the end of that.

“Anybody in the group who was negative towards that I would get rid of, without a shadow of a doubt, because they are not a human being that I would want to put my name to.”

Earlier this month Daniel Hutchings, an analyst at League Two side Stevenage, came out but there are no openly gay players in the Football League, and the only openly gay player in any top-flight division in the world is Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo.

Ian Holloway. Pic: George Wood.

Matt Morton, player-manager for Eastern Counties League Premier Division side Thetford Town, is the highest-ranked openly gay player in England, but said he is certain many others are yet to come out.

“There are 100 per cent gay men in elite football in this country,” Morton said. “They just don’t feel comfortable yet to be themselves.

“There are a lot of negatives about social media, you can also spread positivity and acceptance. The acceptance has removed some of the fear. It has fully flipped on its head. The minority are the racists, are the homophobes and the sexists.

“They are a lot quieter because they are cowards, and now they are massively outnumbered. It is the perfect time for people to be able to embrace who they are and live the life they want to live.”

Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo is currently the only openly-male top-flight football player. Pic: Jonathan DiMaggio.

Football’s Coming Out will launch on All 4 and Channel 4’s YouTube from January 25.

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