Journalist Tony Evans joined The Football Show to react to Jake Daniels coming out as gay.
Tony Evans is a Liverpudlian journalist in his 60s who has covered football for decades.
Evans has seen a wide range of issues that exist in sport. Both those directly related to the actions on the field and those societal issues that inevitably seep into every aspect of our lives. As such, when 17-year-old Jake Daniels came out as gay publicly on Monday, Evans was able to offer an important perspective.
“What we need is the normalization of people’s sexuality,” Evans said.
“The truth is, which noone wants to accept, especially not the more bigoted types, is sexuality is malleable throughout your life. At different times you can fall in love or fall for different people of different sexes. I’m in my 60s, it took a long time to see that. It’s completely and utterly normal.
“After the cup final on Saturday I saw two girls in Liverpool shirts walking along holding hands. I didn’t think there’s a gay couple, I thought there’s two Liverpool fans.”
Daniels is the first player to come out publicly during his career since Justin Fashanu in 1990. Fashanu’s career suffered for it, whereas Daniels is less likely to face the same challenges. But that doesn’t mean he won’t still face challenges, significant challenges even.
Evans explains that while modern day football is better than what it’s been, it’s still not good when it comes to homophobia and bigotry.
“Sadly, I don’t think it’s a world away. It’s far too close to how it was back in the 80s for us to be complacent about it. On all levels. People say it’s gotten better. It’s less racist than it was. It’s less homophobic than it was. Less isn’t good enough. We need to be much more inclusive about this thing.
“There’s still that bigotry that runs in the game.
“Football is still the biggest expression of working class culture in Britain, and that’s a double-sided coin. It also reflects the uglier side of the culture.”
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