A high profile 20 year old Swedish football player from one of the country’s top football families has come out as gay.
Anton Hysén, who is the son of Glenn Ingvar Anton Hysén – a football manager and former player, reality television star, coach, and football commentator, told Offside magazine: “I am a footballer. And gay”.
Although the up-and-coming Hysén currently only plays for 4th tier side BK, he aims to make an impact on homophobia in the sport by coming out.
“I might not play in the league, but I want to prove that this should not be such a big deal… If I perform as a footballer, then I do not think it matters if I like girls or boys.”
He expressed his anger that no professional football players have yet come out the closet: “It’s totally sick when you think about it. That is so fucked up. Where the hell is everyone else?”
While Hysén admitted that being open about his sexuality could affect his career, he said that other players also faced issues such as racism.
“Now everyone will know: all the coaches, all opponents, yes, even my teammates… People may call me anything they want, it will just make me even more psyched,” he said.
Hysén revealed that his family had known he was gay for some time and that his famous father is fully behind him coming out.
While professional sport remains a largely homophobic field, recent openly-gay sportsmen such as Welsh rugby hero Gareth Thomas, Australian Olympic diving champion Matthew Mitcham and British cricketer Steve Davies are slowly changing that reality.