Ex-Man United star Patrice Evra reveals team-mates told him they were gay but were too scared to come out because of homophobes in the dressing room – and claims there are at least two gay players at EVERY club
- Patrice Evra claims gay players opened up to him throughout his playing career
- But the Frenchman admitted that if they were to publicly come out, ‘it’s over’
- Evra claims he encountered shocking attitudes to homosexuality in football
Patrice Evra has claimed there are at least two gay players at every team in football and has lifted the lid on some of the shocking attitudes of his team-mates towards homosexuality.
In an interview with French publication Le Parisien to coincide with the release of his autobiography, Evra made some stunning revelations about some of the views he encountered.
‘When I was in England, they brought someone to talk to the team about homosexuality,’ Evra explained. ‘Some of my colleagues said “it is against my religion, if there is a homosexual in this locker room, let him leave the club” and other comments.
Patrice Evra claims he encountered shocking attitudes to homosexuality among footballers
Frenchman Evra played for Manchester United for seven years, from 2006 up until 2014 – there is no suggestion any of the players pictured made the remarks in question
Evra also returned to the Premier League with West Ham from 2018 until 2019
‘At that time, I said, “shut up”. I played with players who were gay. Face to face, they opened up with me because they are afraid to speak otherwise.
‘There are at least two players per club who are gay. But in the world of football, if you say so, it’s over.’
Evra didn’t clarify which English club he was playing for when the incident in question happened.
He played for Manchester United from 2006 until 2014 before leaving for Juventus. He returned to England and the Premier League in 2018, making a handful of appearances for West Ham before leaving in 2019.
He represented other major European sides such as Italian giants Juve and French clubs Nice, Monaco and Marseille in his playing career. He also won 81 caps for France.
There are no openly gay footballers in the Premier League but clubs have worked to promote inclusivity with gestures such as the rainbow laces campaign.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has spoken out in support of the rainbow laces campaign
The initiative saw players wear rainbow laces on their shoes as well as captains such as Bruno Fernandes (above) wearing rainbow armbands for a round of matches in November
It has received widespread acclaim across the league, including from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who explained how the initiative raised his level of awareness before his side’s match with Southampton in November on the rainbow laces weekend.
‘I’m a perfect example for it – how the awareness level changes,’ Klopp said. ‘I’m 54, I’ve been through a lot of periods in my life but a lot of problems I’ve never had.
‘I have so many gay friends but I never thought about how it was when they had to say, ‘by the way, mum, dad’ – and to everyone else – ‘I’m not exactly how you expected, maybe’.
“That’s a challenge we shouldn’t face, in the way we face it in our life. So I’m completely in. It’s a great campaign, I have to say, and it looks good!”
Openly gay footballer Josh Cavallo, who plays for Australian side Adelaide United, called out homophobic abuse that was directed at him earlier this week
Cavallo took to Instagram and called out crowd abuse after a draw with Melbourne Victory
The world’s only openly gay footballer, Josh Cavallo who plays for Australian side Adelaide United, earlier this week called out homophobic abuse from the crowd in a game he was playing in against Melbourne Victory.
The day after the match, the 22-year-old took to Instagram to say: ‘I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse at the game last night.
‘There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was. This shouldn’t be acceptable and we need to do more to hold people accountable.
‘I will never apologise for living my truth and most recently who I am outside of football.’
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