The recent coming-out of Jakub Jankto, Czech Republic footballer and former Sampdoria and Udinese player, bodes well. In a recent video posted on his Twitter account he stated he craved a “life with freedom” and “without prejudice”, confirming he no longer wanted to hide.
The official Twitter account of Sparta Prague, the team in which he plays, re-tweeted the video declaring their support. And the Premier League commented with a very encouraging “We are with you, Jakub!”
These kinds of declarations should no longer be ‘news’, but within the professional football world they still are. Why? Because homosexuality is still considered taboo, and the image of the cisgender alpha male is overtly celebrated. A sportsman publicly declaring their sexuality is still very rare – but this kind of acknowledgment has a huge impact on both fans and many footballers, both professional and amateur. It also echoes the Premier League’s ethos: ‘football is for everyone’.
Solidarity is coming from many different places, including Jankto’s former partner Markéta Ottomanská; the mother of his three-year-old son. She said she was proud of him for his strength to speak out publicly. He follows in the recent footsteps of both Jake Daniels and Jake Williamson.
Perhaps the development of a newer, truer and above all more inclusive football sector will continue.
Giorgio Galluzzo, Business Development Executive