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Pro soccer player Jakub Jankto comes out as gay

Jankto plays for the Czech national team and professionally in Spain in La Liga.

Wales v Czech Republic - International Friendly
Jakub Jankto is the first player in La Liga to come out publicly as gay, and the rare European pro soccer player to come out publicly.
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Jakub Jankto, a professional soccer player in Spain’s La Liga who also competes for the Czech Republic on the international stage, has come out publicly as gay.

In a video posted on social media, Jankto addressed his coming out:

“Like everyone else, I have strengths, I have weaknesses, I have a family, I have friends, I have a job in which I have done the best I could for years, with seriousness, professionalism and passion,” he said. “Like everyone else, I too want to live my life in freedom. Without fear, without prejudice, without violence, but with love,”

Jankto currently plays for Getafe, based around Madrid. In 2022 he was on loan to Sparta Prague, in his home country of the Czech Republic. The midfielder has 45 appearances and four goals for his home country on the international stage.

While Major League Soccer has had two active players come out publicly — Robbie Rogers and Collin Martin — European soccer has not followed, despite having many more players.

Homosexuality has been legal in the Czech Republic for decades, but same-sex marriage is not recognized.

Huge congrats to Jankto for this important step.