Antoine Griezmann: gay footballers scared of coming out

International Edition By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 07/06/2017

Atletico Madrid and French forward Antoine Griezmann has said he understands why gay football players are afraid to come out, but he would support those who did.

Lazio winger Keita Balde Diao recently appeared to suggest he was gay on social media, but it later transpired that it was a joke.

Also, Read; Breaking: Barcelona midfielder quit international football

And Griezmann has admitted that the lack of openly gay players is due to a fear of what others in the game will think. But he insisted that were he gay, he would make his sexuality public although he admitted it is easier said than done.

'Players do not come out of the closet because they are afraid,' the Atletico Madrid striker said in an interview with El Pais, which focused on his life off the pitch.

'We have to appear hard and strong but we are afraid of what people will say about us.

'Of course, I have nothing against anyone, I respect everybody. 

'I think I would [come out as gay],' the former Manchester United target added.

'But of course, that's easier said when you do not have to go through it.

'There are a lot of bad people in football and players can be afraid to go to stadiums and get abused.'

Griezmann also spoke of his affinity for his hair and revealed that he would not part with it even in exchange for the winning goal in the Champions League final.

"No, no, I could not do that," he said. "Impossible, I prefer not to, I do not care if it's the Champions League final. Another style, sure, but not bald, no way."