Arsenal man speaks out on homophobia in support of his gay brother

Posted by

Despite attitudes towards homosexuality changing around the world, homophobia in football still appears to be rife and one Arsenal star has had enough.

Various initiatives from the powers that be, from clubs and from players themselves has seen a more inclusive outlook generally, though there is still a long, long way to go.

FIFA banning the use of the rainbow captain’s armband is a prime example of the small steps needing to be taken to ensure the wider discussion is used as a real force for change.

Even gay and lesbian supporter groups, such as Tottenham’s the Proud Lilywhites and Arsenal’s Gay Gooners, have had to run the gauntlet at matches, with OutSports reporting on how Marseille supporters tore down Tottenham’s Pride flag after losing their Champions League match last season.

Aaron Ramsdale

Arsenal goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale, has decided to speak out as much in support of his gay brother as for the LGBTQ community in general.

“My brother is gay, and he’s lived his life in an open and authentic way since he went off to school,” he said to The Player’s Tribune (h/t France 24).

“I’m so proud to say he’s my brother. I haven’t talked about it before, but with everything going on in football right now, I thought it was important to mention.

“Over the years, I’ve probably bit my tongue a few too many times — both in dressing rooms and on social media — whenever I hear homophobic comments or stupid things being said. And I think maybe my brother has done the same, thinking it would make my life easier.

“Well, all that ends today. It’s not the easiest thing to be open like this, but there’s never a ‘right time’.

“As a person, I have another dream. I want this game I love to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone. I want my brother, Ollie — or anyone of any sexuality, race or religion — to come to games without having to fear abuse.

“And when we lift a trophy at the Emirates Stadium, I want my brother there with me.”

Ramsdale’s statement should be applauded of course, but in this day and age it shouldn’t need to be said.

Football really does need to take a long, hard look at itself if, in 2023, a person’s sexuality is still such a talking point and so incredibly controversial that players and others in the game feel the need to stay in the closet.

More Stories Aaron Ramsdale