Why Hitzlsperger Coming Out Shouldn’t Be Newsworthy


Last week former German international Thomas Hitzlsperger announced he was gay.

The story was huge news in the football world and it made mainstream media headlines.

I was unsure if I should touch the subject. It generates so much opinion and views. Then I remembered it was my blog, the ideal platform to tell the world my thoughts.

So for me the worst part of the whole story is that it’s a story at all.

I am very liberal. I believe that everyone has the right to be with whoever they want to be, as long as its legal. If a man loves another man, then great. Same goes for two woman and for a man and a woman. Everyone deserves to find some love in their life.

That said I would prefer it if people were a bit more reserved. For example I don’t want to see any couple in the street go over the top with public shows of affection. It doesn’t matter if they are straight or gay. I just don’t need to see it.

I also hate the fact that a persons sexuality is now big news and sells newspapers.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand why Thomas has came out publicly. He wants his sexuality to be more accepted and he wants to make it easier for any player who might be in a similar situation.

But as a society in the 21st century can’t we just accept people for who they are.

Papers can spout all they want about others being more accepting but until we live in a social group that doesn’t constantly speculate on peoples sexuality through those same papers, then we can’t be truly accepting.

The truth is, that the media and a good proportion of the public are far too interested in other peoples love lives. In the same week when Hitzlsperger bravely came out, a French magazine decided to run a story questioning their president’s rumoured infidelity.

Again I ask the question why is this newsworthy?

The press make up the rules as they go along. Why can’t we give people private lives?

Let me return to the Hitzlsperger case.

There is only a story and a stigma attached to homosexuality if we don’t offer eduction on the subject and talk about it in our own circles.

The eduction over the past two decades on racism in football has helped the majority to understand that there is no place for it in our sport. Why have the authorities not stood up in the same why against homophobia or religious bigotry?

Why do we have to wait for former players or better still a current player to come out before we have a proper discussion on this topic?

Now I am positive that there will be a lot of good organisations out there that support homosexuality in football. But they just don’t seem to get the same exposure as say ‘Kick It Out’.

Of course I am sure the FA will have published a pamphlet or two on the subject but that is not enough. They will no doubt have a page on their website with a lot of content but it will be down to you to find it.

Can we really trust FIFA to deal with the subject when they hand World Cups to both Russia and Qatar? Countries known for their negative views on homosexuality.

As I have already said, I’m all for everyone having their own sexuality. I also don’t mind talking about it, but in the right way and by the right people. Educate fans and young players, if they need to be educated.

But please don’t let it be from the press!

Most of them don’t have the morals and will simply want to sell their own agendas. All they wish to do is let peoples sexuality define them, just look at the Tom Daley story. In almost every story their is a mention of his sexuality from being a ‘Gay Icon’ to talking about ‘his fella’. Why do we really need to be reminded of his chosen sexual preference? It’s not as if they talk about Vernon Kay being a hetero icon married to a woman.

I just hope we reach a day when people don’t need to come out or be seen with the opposite sex climbing out of nightclubs splashed all over our papers.

Lets stick to proper news stories please.

2 Responses to “Why Hitzlsperger Coming Out Shouldn’t Be Newsworthy”

  1. Interesting points – and in an ideal, educated, rational, intelligent world, we would not need to make a big deal of it. Unfortunately, thanks to about 2000 years of bigotry, society has obsessed about this. The age of Reason is just starting to improve the lot of LGBT people.

    I would hope this author expressed this level of concern over the last 2 years, when hardly a week went by without some cleric degrading gay people and attacking them in their deepest integrity, making headline news. Homophobia is still the norm, and a lot of attitudes still need to change. In this context, we need a few positive headlines to redress that balance. A few confident, out sportsmen and women will help people get used to it, and even make people think. In the short term, this will be news – all ‘first person’ stories are, because of e novelty value. But then the media circus moves on, and so will everyone else. One solution might be for a dozen professional athletes to all come out at once.

    Similarly, with Tom Daley, the press have more or less moved on. His relationships should be reported no more, nor no less than those of straight personalities. To an extent, people are defined by their sexuality, because we are defined by our relationships. ‘His fella’ is after all, a reference to the most important person in his life, not just ‘sexual preference’. It’s also a good thing to have gay role models insofar as LGBT people really do need them at this point.

    There is another problem: society’s obsession with celebrities. If that were otherwise, most tabloids would be found in the stationery department. The solution to that would be better education, and more serious, thought-provoking TV programming. My criticism of Tom is that he should be hanging out more with people like Brian Cox, and looking to do something more inspiring than rubbish like Splash.

  2. Thanks for the comment Adrian.

    I think we are basically singing from the same hymn sheet here.

    I am not a fan of any kind of homophobia and believe the press should always look at certain people they give air time to. I would also prefer to have a right to reply on certain news items this was done after the gay issues in Russia, with many gay campaigners involved in great debates.

    I also know exactly why Hitzlsperger came out and admire him for what he has done. I just wish we lived in a society that didn’t need it.

    As for icons. Great that should be the case but these people should then be more attainable and not just seen in newspapers.

    Not sure we will agree on the ‘His fella’ bit. I am of the opinion that Tom should be allowed to say who is dear to him, no need to press to spout it all the time. If anything I’d imagine it add pressure on a couple.

    Totally agree with the ‘Splash’ stuff but who am I to tell anyone what they should do to earn money.

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