- Deeney believes male footballers fear to come out of the closet.
- He says once the first player comes out, there will be loads of others.
- 'I feel like it must be a real heavy load to carry throughout all your whole sporting career', the Watford captain admits.
"I think people that are gay or from that community definitely are very worried about having to shoulder the responsibility of being the first. I think once the first comes out, there would be loads.
"If they came out and said it, I genuinely believe you would get, in the first week, at least 100 people that went 'me too'. Just because they don't want to be the face of it.
"I think there is now a bigger platform than ever to be a gay athlete of any nature. I also wonder why people finish football, rugby, whatever the sport it might be, and then go 'I am gay'. I feel like it must be a real heavy load to carry throughout all your whole sporting career."
Several women footballers have already spoken publicly of their homosexuality including Arsenal star Viviane Miedema.
In the interview with The Guardian, she urged man counterparts to come out as well so that homosexuality would become less stigmatised in professional football.
A few years ago, Hector Bellerin addressed the issue in the Times interview: "It is impossible that anybody could be openly gay in football. Some fans are not ready. When it happened in rugby with the Welsh player [Gareth Thomas], people respected the situation. The fans respected his decision.
"In football, the culture is different. It can be very personal, very nasty, particularly for players from the opposition team."
Ex-Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger spoke publicly of his homosexuality only after retirement.
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