Premier League - Wenger: Premier League may never have openly gay player

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he could understand it if a gay footballer in the Premier League never revealed his sexuality while still playing.

Premier League - Wenger: Premier League may never have openly gay player

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Arsene Wenger, Arsenal (AFP)

Earlier this year, former Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton star Thomas Hitzlsperger revealed he was gay but he waited until the end of his playing career before going public with the news.

Wenger says that players being gay should not even be an issue but that the inevitable scrutiny that would be put on an active player if they came out might discourage them from doing so.

"Because of media interest, maybe no-one will come out," Wenger told Arsenal magazine.

"He (Hitzlsperger) could not come out during his career which means we still have some progress to make in our game.

"Hitzlsperger should not have had to wait until the end.

"But overall he should not have to come out at all because it should just be considered like anything else.

"It would be good if four, five, six people come out and after that nobody speaks about it anymore because they just think it is people who live their life like they want to live it.

"I think football is there to provoke moments of happiness, excitement and positive experiences in people, no matter where they come from, what colour skin they have, what religion they are or what their preferred sexuality is.

"It's very sad that some people think that this sport should only be reserved for those who have certain characteristics."

In March, former England international Sol Campbell said football was "not ready" for gay players.

"I don't think they are ready, the system isn't ready for them," he told BBC radio.

"I don't think football is ready - some of the authorities might say they are ready but I don't think football is."

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