Jake Daniels: Why Blackpool ahead’s determination is a watershed second for British soccer

Jake Daniels: Why Blackpool forward's decision is a watershed moment for British football


It shouldn’t matter – and to many, it won’t.

After all, it’s 2022, and the idea that a footballer’s sexuality should be newsworthy will seem, to most people, bizarre.

“Good luck to him, and let him play” – right?

But Jake Daniels’ decision to speak publicly about the fact he’s gay is a watershed moment, both for him personally and for British football as a whole.

Why?

Because you have to go back more than 30 years, to the time of Justin Fashanu, to find the last time that an active male professional footballer in the UK felt comfortable enough to come out.

The men’s game has changed significantly since then.

Josh Cavallo, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Thomas Beattie have all shared their stories as gay men in the sport; gay and bisexual men play regularly at a grassroots level; and it’s hard to find a club in the English game that doesn’t have its own LGBTQ+ supporters’ club.

Yet for all that progress, not a single man playing professionally in the English game…