Stuttgart (AP) – Former national player Thomas Hitzlsperger has encouraged young professional footballers to deal with a possible coming-out.
“There seems to be a great fear that life will get worse afterwards. I emphasize that my life has improved again,” said the 38-year-old of the ARD program “Sportschau Theme”. The current CEO of VfB Stuttgart publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in 2014. Then “he met so many new people who are so great.”
Hitzlsperger also sees the reason why hardly any active players have appeared in the system so far. “The players are surrounded by advisers. There is always the worry that I will not get a club anymore. Everything is compressed to professional time, 10 or 15 years, that’s where I make my money and then I make a living with it,” he said. “The players don’t have the perspective that a life will be much longer than this professional career.”
According to Hitzlsperger, that should change. “You have to change your mind and say: a professional career is sensational, enjoy it! But after that it can get even better. Few have this fantasy.” Such a system does not help to open up and allow other interests.