David Beckham said he believes that there is “still work to be done” in overcoming homophobia in football. “I played for 22 years, I saw a lot of racism and homophobia and do think it has changed” he told The Londoner’s Diary. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done.” Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels recently came out, becoming Britain’s first active openly gay male professional footballer.
He was the country’s first footballer to come out since Justin Fashanu in October 1990. “It’s a shame that when someone does come out that it’s such a strange thing,” Beckham explained, referencing Daniels. “I’ve always felt that way about when someone does come out… it shouldn’t be”.
The 47-year-old added that “at the end of the day there will be a huge amount of gay people in sports and why should they be any different from anyone else.” The upcoming World Cup has been marred with controversy since it was announced that it would take place Qatar, a country where homosexuality is illegal and the LGBTQ+ community is subjected to discriminatory laws.
Harry Kane, captain of the England national football team, previously said players will use the tournament to highlight “important issues”. “We’ve never shied away from important issues, and we’ve always had our opinions and tried to show unity in anything we’ve done,” he told reporters during a press conference. “That’s what will happen now over this camp and the next camp to try to help in any way we can.” The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place from 21 November to 18 December.