World’s only openly gay active pro footballer is concerned for LGBTQ community ahead of Qatar 2022 final – but says he doesn’t want to stop the #pride movement
The only openly gay active pro footballer in the world is concerned about the #Pride movement ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
“As a gay man who has played an integral role in the world’s most famous sports movement, I am deeply concerned about the growing intolerance of the LGBTQ community in the lead-up to the World Cup in Qatar,” Matthew Le Tissier, 34, said in an interview with The Independent today.
“It was the most popular Olympic Games ever,” he added. “Millions of people all over the world have grown up watching their favourite athletes – and now the whole world is talking about them. It is time they start to recognise the contributions they can make to society.”
But Le Tissier insists he is not in any way against the #pride movement.
“[I’m] not a part of the #pride movement, I’m against it,” he said. “I’ve never said I am against the gay community, or I am against anyone who is. I’m just a footballer who has been able to do so much for the world’s biggest sporting event to date. I am not an advocate for the gay community.”
However, he believes the world should be more accepting of gay and lesbian people.
“I think the gay community have contributed so much to society, but now it is time we recognise what can we learn from them.
“We should be the most accepting community in the world. It is time we all learnt from them, learned from the sacrifices we have made, from the achievements we have made, and from the impact we have all had on society.”
Le Tissier hopes to return to the big stage some day to inspire others.
“As a gay person who plays football, if I can inspire young people to reach their potential, then I have done my job. I believe I have done it, and I really hope I can inspire young people to do what I have done – be bold, make sacrifices and to just do what they believe in. I have just done what I