Gay player at every team: Watford skipper

Watford captain Troy Deeney claims there is probably one gay player in every football team.

Deeney believes gay footballers are worried about shouldering the responsibility of publicly coming out but feels one doing so would lead to others following that lead.

Talking on the BBC Podcast, Grounded with Louis Theroux, the 31-year-old said: "I would go on record saying that there is probably one gay or bi person in every football team.

"They're there, they are 100 per cent there.

"I think people that are gay or from that community definitely are very worried about having to shoulder the responsibility of being the first.

"I think once the first comes out, there would be loads."

Former Norwich and Nottingham Forest striker Justin Fashanu, who declared he was gay in 1990 and died in 1998, remains the only openly gay male footballer to have played in a major British competition.

Deeney does not believe it would be an "issue" if a high-profile player was gay or bisexual.

"If he come out and said it, I genuinely believe you would get in the first week at least 100 people that went 'me too'. Just because they don't want to be the face of it," Deeney said.

The 31-year-old striker, who returned to action for Watford in a friendly on Saturday before the Premier League's return from its COVID-19 shutdown, believes the current environment is a good time for sportsmen to declare if they are gay.

"I think there is now a bigger platform than ever to be a gay athlete of any nature," Deeney said.

"I also wonder, why people finish football, rugby, whatever the sport it might be, and then go 'I am gay'... I feel like it must be a real heavy load to carry throughout all your whole sporting career."