Nonostante sia lo sport più popolare al mondo, il calcio è ancora notoriamente discriminatorio. A causa del diffuso razzismo, dei cori omofobici e delle controversie sulle disparità retributive di genere tra le associazioni maschili e femminili, il calcio – o il football, come è noto al di fuori degli Stati Uniti – è spesso nei titoli dei giornali per le ragioni sbagliate. I problemi non sono specifici di alcuni paesi o regioni, con esempi di discriminazione che si verificano in Europa e America Latina, i due continenti che dominano lo sport. E l’Inghilterra non fa eccezione.
Prince William supports Jake Daniels' decision to come out
Jake Daniels (pictured in orange) made history on May 16, when he announced he was ready to embrace his identity on and off the field. "It's a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality," he wrote in a statement shared by Blackpool F.C. By coming out as gay, Daniels became the first professional British soccer player to do so in more than three decades, The Guardian noted. While he had very few examples to look up to in his country, Daniels said he was inspired by LGBTQ+ footballers in other countries and athletes from other sports, including Australian soccer player Josh Cavallo and British diver Tom Daly.
Among those celebrating Daniels's historic decision was Prince William, who took to social media to praise the young footballer. "Football should be a game for everyone," Prince William shared on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Twitter page. "What Jake has done takes courage and will hopefully help break down barriers that have no place in our society." William, who signed the statement, noted Daniels's coming out matters on a broader level. "I hope his decision to speak openly gives others the confidence to do the same," he concluded.
William has shown support for the LGBTQ+ community before. In 2019, he stated he would stand by his children if they turn out to be gay, CNN reported. "I fully support whatever decision they make."