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EPL midfielder speaks out against homophobia
Telegraph, January 31st, 2012 11:49AM

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Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton says players must lead change in attitude toward homosexuality in soccer and has offered support to gay players. Barton blamed the attitudes of coaches and players for the lack of openly gay players in Britain.

"There is no doubt in my mind that in the next 10 years we have an openly gay footballer," Barton said in a BBC Three documentary. "My only fear is that certain managers and individuals within the game will discriminate against people. ...

"It's a subject quite close to my heart because my dad's youngest brother, the youngest of my uncles, is gay. And I didn't know for a long, long time. He thought because of the society that we were brought up in, which was quite working class, that it would be frowned upon or that we would disown him.

"So for a lot of years he was in turmoil and was resenting himself for the fact he had these feelings. I was like, 'I love you for you -- not for the fact that you are straight or bisexual or all different manner of things. I love you because you're you.'"

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