Homophobia is still a very controversial issue in the world of football. Several days ago Lahm gave an interview to a German magazine “Bunte”, in which, allegedly, he advised homosexual players against coming out. One could see the interview posted and re-posted by numerous publishers in German, as well as English, all over the world-wide web. Their titles were sensationalist, claiming that Lahm advises homosexuals not to come out. Here is one of the examples: Lahm gives advice (edit 2014: the article, unfortunately, is no longer available.)
It is no surprise that such articles triggered some bashing on Lahm. Who is he? Why does he have the right to advise them against coming out? Read closely, I beg you. One might notice, while reading those articles, that nowhere does Lahm say that a homosexual player shouldn’t come out. All he says is that, if they do, it is going to be difficult for them. Why? For a number of reasons. First, the media will pay more attention to their sexual orientation than to their performance on the field. That cannot be good for an athlete. Second, some people are still not alright with being around homosexuals, so who is to say that one’s teammates don’t belong to that group of haters? Third, there are some fans who aren’t in favor of homosexuals. Unfortunately. Now, imagine going to play in front of 69,000 people whose reaction is hard to predict. Not to mention verbal abuse. This is the sad reality, and Lahm stated the fact. That is all he did. Why in the world would you twist it, saying that he advises against coming out? He does not. It’s a personal choice. Hence, if a football player wants to do that, that is fine, and Lahm will be fine with that, too. If a player is ready to deal with what might come next, that’s great for him! But it might be difficult. That is all that Lahm is saying here.
The article cited above states:
The player’s comments will fuel the debate about homophobia in the game and could lead to him being sanctioned by the German football federation, the DFB.
Really? Are you serious? For what? Just as a reminder, Lahm was the first German international to speak out against homophobia in sports, and he received an award for promoting tolerance.
Dr. Zwanziger, on the other hand, who claims that he and his association would help a player who has decided to come out, seems a bit delusional. I wonder what would he do to a crows of haters? What would he do to prevent verbal abuse?