Chancellor Angela Merkel says athletes shouldn't be afraid to come out. In a 2008 interview with public broadcaster ZDF, Mario Basler, the Bundesliga's leading scorer in 1995 and more recently a trainer in the lower leagues, notoriously said that he didn't believe there were any gay football players in Germany's top league.Even if few would believe him, there was no evidence to the contrary besides sheer statistics.For the first time last week, a current member a Bundesliga team, under the cloak of anonymity, came forward in an interview about being gay and closeted as a football player in Germany's top league.The interview, conducted by Adrian Bechtold, a 25-year-old journalist, appeared on Tuesday in the online edition of Fluter, a youth magazine published by the respected Federal Agency for Civic Education (BPB).That will come." In the meantime, Urban feels that the German Football Association (DFB) still isn't taking the issue seriously.He would like to see the league appoint someone to deal with the topic specifically.For the same reasons, closeted athletes are also more likely to be injured during games and in practice.
The jerseys were part of an effort from the Deutschlandstiftung Integration, a foundation that promotes the integration of minorities, in collaboration with the the league to encourage religious and racial tolerance.Marcus Urban, who played for Rot-Weiss Erfurt when it was in the second division in the 1990s, came out after stepping away from his career on the field.Urban has since spoken in interviews about reading psychology books and paying careful attention to his body movements on the field -- in many cases, playing especially aggressively -- to hide his homosexuality."I pay a high price for living my dream of playing in the Bundesliga," the athlete said. No, and none of the other gay players in the Bundesliga that he knows are either. But you can imagine that months of playing this hiding game is pure poison for a couple," he said. Of course, success playing football was subsequently great."I have to put on a show and deny my true identity every day." Bechtold worked for almost a year to get the athlete's story, gaining his trust and promising "a hundred times" that his name wouldn't be revealed. But there was a corollary price to pay." Merkel Says Gays Shouldn't Be Afraid to Come Out At a press conference to open the Bundesliga Integration Game Days last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out on the issue, saying athletes should not be afraid to come out in Germany.
"Being gay hasn't been a taboo for a long time now.