Joey Barton plays for the Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League, one of the top soccer leagues in the world. In a BBC documentary on gays in soccer, Barton reveals that he has a gay uncle and implores his sport to embrace a gay player.
There is no doubt in my mind that in the next 10 years we have an openly gay footballer," Barton said on the program "Britain's Gay Footballers." "My only fear is that certain managers and individuals within the game will discriminate against people.
"These archaic figures think if they had a gay footballer, they would have all kinds of shenanigans going on in the dressing room. That's not the case. As I say it's more fool them and their lack of social awareness and intelligence."
Barton talked about what a great legacy his current generation of players could create if they embraced an openly gay teammate. And he spoke movingly about how his uncle struggled before coming to terms with his sexuality.
"For a lot of years he was in turmoil and was resenting himself for the fact he had these feelings.
"I was like, 'I love you for you — not for the fact that you are straight or bisexual or all different manner of things. I love you because you're you.' "
The BBC show has already aired and I have not yet had the time to watch, but would appreciate feedback from anyone who has.
Hat tip to Billy Witz.