Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Der Hammer" Comes Out

International professional football (soccer) player Thomas Hitzlsperger, 31, has come out publicly as gay in an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit.

“I am declaring my homosexuality because I want the question of homosexuality in the world of professional sport to be out in the open.”, the German midfielder declared in the interview while also admitting that the decision to come out publicly had been “a long and difficult process”.

Hitzlsperger, has played 52 times on the German national team and has worked in Germany, England and Italy with Aston Villa, Everton, Wolfsburg and Lazio among others before retiring from football six months ago. He gained the nickname Der Hammer (The Hammer) due to his powerful left-foot shot from long-range.

Hitzlsperger said he had decided to come out because he wanted to promote the discussion of homosexuality in professional sport. “I've never been ashamed of the way I am,” he added, although it had not always been easy to cope with some of the homophobic comments dished out.

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