Karren Brady, 53, has shared her thoughts on Jake Daniels, 17, becoming the UK’s first active male professional footballer to come out as gay. While the vice-chairwoman of West Ham thinks that it was a ”landmark moment”, she says it is a “shame” that Jake has been branded “brave”.
She said: “Lots of people I know are talking about how ’brave’ Jake is, which I think is a shame.
“It shouldn’t be brave to say you are gay. It just shouldn’t matter.”
Karren added in her column that the “most remarkable” thing about Jake’s announcement was “how unremarkable” it really was.
She continued in The Sun: “The sky did not cave in. And the world continued to spin on its axis.
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“Still, it was a landmark moment for both the game and the LGBTQ+ community when Jake chose to make his statement.”
The Blackpool striker came out publicly on Tuesday, making him the first male professional footballer to do so since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Jake made the announcement in a statement shared on Blackpool FC’s official website.
It read: “Off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am.
He also named Australian footballer Josh Cavallo, manager Matt Morton and diver Tom Daley as sporting inspirations for his decision to publicly address his sexuality.
Jake has received a wave of support since making his announcement, including from Phillip Schofield, who himself came out as gay in 2020.
Phil praised the footballer on Tuesday’s This Morning, saying: “What you want now is this football tribal family to show an enormous amount of support – and the word ‘neanderthal’ was used for some football spectators whose views, you know, are still in the dark ages.
“Look at your sport, look at the beauty of your sport, look at your players and supporting them.
“Of course, there’s always going to be sort of ribbing people and having a go.
“But this is the time to say, ‘Right okay, let’s not go for him.”