Jul 5, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; General view of a Nike soccer balls during a friendly between Guatemala and the United States at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Hitzlsperger becomes first Premier League player to announce he’s gay

In today’s day and age, we continue to wait for a NFL player to come out as an openly gay athlete. However, while the NFL has yet to break down those barriers, we have seen others around the sports world showing the courage to announce who they are.

Jason Collins in the NBA may be the biggest example of a professional athlete announcing he is openly gay, but now a soccer player in Europe has also come forward and becomes the the first Premier League player to come out.

Thomas Hitzlsperger, who previously played for Aston Villa, West Ham, Everton and many other squads, made the announcement to German newspaper Die Zeit.

“I am expressing my sexuality because I want to promote the discussion of homosexuality among professional athletes,” Hitzlsperger said. ”Only in the last few years did it dawn on me that I would rather live with a man.”

Hitzlsperger said that being gay is not a big issue in Europe, but he didn’t want the issue to be “simply ignored.”

You have to applaud Hitzlsperger for having the courage to come out and express who he is, and hopefully he will be able to encourage others to no longer be afraid of what others may say.

Tags: BPL EPL Hidden Thomas Hitzlsperger