German Football Captain Lahm Advises Gay Players to Stay in Closet, Says He’s Not Gay


Germany football captain Phillip Lahm has published a new memoir which has angered officials for its criticism of past coaches and fellow players.

Lahm Lahm also suggests that gay footballers should not come out of the closet, because of potential repercussions, like death, Reuters reports:

"I would not advise any gay professional footballer to come out," Lahm wrote in his autobiography 'The Subtle Difference'. "I would fear that he could end up like Justin Fashanu who after he outed himself was driven into such a corner that he ended up committing suicide," the 27-year-old Bayern Munich captain added.

Lahm said, however, that he personally would have no problems if a player decided to come out. "I have nothing against homosexuals and I do not consider homosexuality as something reprehensible," he said.

Fashanu is the only player to have announced he was homosexual during his professional career.

Lahm also reportedly denies he's gay in the book, AFP reports:

"First, I am not a homosexual. I am not married to my wife Claudia for appearances and I do not have a friend in Cologne with whom I really live," Lahm wrote in the book…

"This speculation doesn't matter to me," he said referring to rumours about a male companion in Cologne. "I have nothing against homosexuals and I find that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality."

"But it never ceases to amaze me that these isolated types, who tell these stories, can have a lot of influence on public opinion. 'Philipp Lahm homosexual' (…) do you not have anything more important to talk about?" he said.

This topic is not unfamiliar to followers of German football.

In June 2010, Michael Becker, a top sports agent, claimed that the German national team's elegance in the World Cup was attributed to the fact that there were "a bunch of gays" on the team.

In November of that year, Bayern Munich player Mario Gomez urged gay footballers to come out of the closet, saying, "They would play as if they had been liberated. Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic."

Last February, German goalie Manuel Neuer echoed Gomez' remarks, saying, "Yes, those who are homosexual should say so. That would take a load off their minds…And the fans would get over it quickly. What is important to them, is the performances on the pitch of the player, not his sexual preferences."


  1. BenB says

    Exposure to LGBT people is one of the best, if not the best way to overcome prejudice. And though it’s a very minimal kind of exposure, coming to terms with a professional footballer being gay would, I think, bring millions of (primarily male and often homophobic) football fans into the 21st century where they realise it doesn’t matter any more if someone is gay or straight. LGBT footballers should definitely come out.

  2. Neens says

    Tell that to Anton Hysén. Sure, he plays only fourth-tier football (but at least it’s professional football, here in Germany we do have some out players at the amateur level), but his club, Utsiktens BK, is currently first in the group and out of all defenders at the club, Hysén has scored the most goals (3) and assisted with three more.

    So far it seems to be going well for him – and as a German myself, I’d love to tell Lahm to shut his gob. *rolls her eyes and agrees 100% with BenB*

  3. Clay says

    This story is months old. Lahm appears to misrepresented. His advice re: the closet is pretty obviously rooted in concern for the emotional and physical safety of gay players. Yes, of course he’s wrong in his conclusion, quite wrong, but there appears to be no malice or homophobia in his motivation. It’s a bit like the people who rate movies for the MPAA, who often say “I can handle this but we’d better rate in R because other people can’t.” Lahm makes a mistake here, but it’s a sincere one.

  4. RIck says

    First, an article about rampant harrassment of gays in the Israeli military, perhaps the most progressive-minded in the world, where gays have been allowed to serve openly for two decades. Then, an article about a young hockey player in liberal Canada who sees no way to be out and play the game he loves at the same time and is contemplating suicide because of it. Now another article suggesting that it is dangerous for professional gay athletes in progressive western Euripe to come out because they would not be accepted.

    So the pattern is clear. For all the progress made at the “official” level in these countries, among the least homophobic–and most feminist-friendly on earth–homophobia remains rampant and intense at the personal, individual in the most masculine segments of society.

    Why? Because the prevailing effeminacy and gender-bending ideology of gay culture soils all men associated with it, regardless of whether they, themselves, are effeminate and unmasculine or not. That ideology is rightly seen as an attack on masculinity and on men in general and its idolization of women rather than men as its “icons” and symbols reinforces that view, understandably so.

    Bottom line is that while society will concede the notion that everyone should be granted basic civil rights regardless of sexual orientation, it will not proceed to acceptance of gay men if they continue to be and to be seen as the proponents of an anti-male, anti-masculinity ideology rather than changing their own mindset and behavior to conform with the prevailing norms.

    Our choice to make, but be assured that those of you who continue down the “gender-bending” path are the cause of the difficulties and unhappiness of these young athletes and soldiers and of lots of other gay men–and when they commit suicide or engage in other forms of self-damaging behavior, the blood is on your hands…..

  5. aki says

    Todays headline of the biggest German tabloid screams ” I’m not gay ” . I really want to know what kind of material the newspaper has on him to get him to do this . He took rumors off the internet and printed them in a mass medium.

  6. Danny says

    Rick, you are a disgusting throwback with a serious case of internalized homophobia… feminine men and gender-bending “soils” other men? You’re attitude is very, very sick. You need to take a serious look at yourself. With people like you in the gay community we don’t need enemies outside. You’ll do as well as better. Your remarks are every bit as disgusting as anything said by Santorum, Tony Perkins or any of the other closet-cases throwing crap at us.

  7. Danny says

    VERY sick stuff posted above by Rick–have a look, everybody–your internalized homophobe at work to make sure you keep hating yourself for being gay:

    Why? Because the prevailing effeminacy and gender-bending ideology of gay culture soils all men associated with it, regardless of whether they, themselves, are effeminate and unmasculine or not. That ideology is rightly seen as an attack on masculinity and on men in general and its idolization of women rather than men as its “icons” and symbols reinforces that view, understandably so.

  8. RIck says

    @Danny I think you misunderstood–I should have said soils all GAY men associated with it…..and it does.

    The point is that society will accept homosexuality and we the practitioners of it if it is not associated with an anti-male and anti-masculinity ideology, but will not accept it and us if it is.

    Masculine gay men suffer from “guilt by association” with gay men who make a mockery out of masculinity with their behavior (which unfortunately is reflected in the prevailing gay culture).

    I am totally comfortable with myself as a masculine gay man–what frustrates me is that other gay men are destroying all of our chances of social acceptance by continuing to adhere to a culture of effeminacy, which straight men (and society in general will never accept, nor should they).

  9. Danny says

    Rick, you suffer the same sick worship of the masculine that mindless straight guys suffer from. What is so despicable about the feminine that you think society “in general will never accept nor should they”?? Where in the devil’s mind are you getting such rubbish?

    Feminine men have been around as long as men have been around. The majority of cultures didn’t have a problem finding a place for them i their societies. I repeat–you’ve got a serious problem, usually known as misogyny.

    Seriously–are you really so narrow-minded that you thing there is only ONE WAY TO BE A MAN?

    How old are you–15?

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