- 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."
Toni Kroos recently addressed the issue in the Times interview, saying that he would be hesitant to advise gay football players to come out to the public, mostly due to the fact that the player is highly likely to suffer abuse from rivals' fans.
"My common sense tells me that we should all be able to live in full freedom, of that there is no doubt. But I don’t know if I would recommend a player to come out of the closet," Kroos said.
His compatriot, ex-Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, spoke publicly of his homosexuality only after retirement.