German Chancellor Encourages Soccer Players To Come Out

Responding to a top German soccer player who came out anonymously this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that gay footballers should have “nothing to fear“:

MERKEL: I am of the opinion that anyone who sums up the strength and bravery — and we have a long tradition of this behind us in politics — should know that they live in a land where they have nothing to fear. The fact that there are still fears for some people for their own situation means we need to send out a clear message: you must not be afraid.

Former German soccer federation president Theo Zwanziger similarly encouraged soccer players to come out, but German soccer captain Philipp Lahm is afraid if they do, they’ll commit suicide.