German Footballer Lens Lehmann Says Gay Players Should Remain Closeted

Another day, another professional athlete telling LGBT players to stay in the closet.

Jens_lehmannIn an TV interview highlighted in Germany's OK magazine, Jens Lehmann — former goalkeeper for the English Premier League team Arsenal — said, "Football is a man thing," adding that a gay player would have to be "crazy" to come out during their professional career as they'd subjects to taunts. He also said that if a teammate had come out during his time as a pro it would have been "strange" since "you shower together every day." reports that "Lehmann's comments have caused uproar in his native Germany, where Thomas Hitzlsperger, who played alongside Lehmann for Stuttgart and Germany, recently admitted he was gay."

Every few months an ostensibly straight player will suggest that gay pro-athletes should remain closeted for the good of the team. Last February it was Major League Baseball pitcher Mark Knudson, in March it was NFL player Christopher Clemons and in September it was footballer Oliver Kahn.

Luckily, European pro-football players like Liam Davis and other LGBT athletes are ignoring their advice.


  1. HadenoughBS says

    Now who’s afraid of the big bad gay wolf? I’d say it’s “straight” athletes who perhaps aren’t too sure of their own masculinity. Otherwise, they should just STFU and butt out of the discussion.

  2. crispy says

    He’s actually right about one thing… a gay player IS going to be subject to brutal taunts. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t come out.

    Frankly, whoever does come out is going to have bigger balls than this old coward.

  3. jason says

    Will these homophobic morons just shut up about the dangers of showering? Not all gay men want to go to bed with a flabby fart-machine with tiny balls who doesn’t brush his teeth.

  4. JackFknTwist says

    @ SPARKS :

    Yeah that brilliant insight struck me too.

    “It’s a man thing .”
    Try telling that to all the family and supporters of Mark Bingham, Rugby Player, who brought down Flight 93 rather than allow it to destroy the Capitol building.

    Yea, Mark Bingham, was a man, a rugby player and for him it was all ‘a man thing’.

    All gay players should come out…..who cares what the bigots say or think.

    Fools like this total oak bug the $h1t out of me…’s the depth of his ignorance that is irredeemable.

  5. says

    ….if you’re a grown adult who’s afraid of “taunts” you’re not man whatsoever.

    dear closeted grown adults in sports, start emulating the strength and courage of those Out teens you likely distanced yourselves from when you were younger. they’re the real men, until *you* come out, you’re just boys.

  6. Belthazar says

    He now knows, along with everyone else, that he has played alongside a gay player [“…Thomas Hitzlsperger, who played alongside Lehmann for Stuttgart and Germany…”] and showered with a gay player without incident. So, the “showering” excuse is a red herring.

  7. bkmn says

    News alert for Jens:

    Just cause a gay man showers next to you doesn’t mean they are going to lose control and have sex with you.

    FYI – you have showered naked with gay men already!

  8. Albert says

    So many of these European soccer players are undereducated. Most American soccer players have been socialized in college and tend to have more exposure to others in society, whereas most European ones went directly from grade/secondary school right into the football systems.

  9. JJ says

    I love how he says, “Football is a man thing,” just before envisioning “taunts” that could only be described as juvenile. Does anyone other than adolescent males fret over their manhood? If showering with someone who might enjoy the situation is awkward, isn’t it super awkward showering with taunty men who worry endlessly that someone might *think* they enjoy it? And actually, *don’t* they enjoy it? I mean, the difference between me and Lehmann’s cohort is that although I enjoy showering with guys, I didn’t choose it as a career.

  10. If... You... Asked Me To... says

    So Patti Labelle gave the EXACT SAME ADVICE to gay R&B singers (“Don’t come out!”)in an interview that was contained in an attached film clip in one of Hankinson’s inane “Icon or Diva?” pieces a couple of days ago.

    She also went to great pains to say that she wasn’t a lesbian, that she “…wanted a maaaan!….”, and how she rejected all the women who came out of the woodwork to pursue her after her divorce, only to have them say “Well…if ya change your mind…..”

    Not one voice took her to task for that terrible advice, or for her exaggerated assertions of femininity, or for her borderline homophobic characterizations.

    Why the double standard?

  11. emjayay says

    Same arguements as before DADT was dropped about three years ago. Probably the same as in Germany before they liberalized the military in 1990 and completely dropped all gay discrimination at all levels in 2000. This guy obviously is a bit behind.

  12. Don says

    I would think if I were that paranoid I would prefer to know who’s gay and who isn’t. There is an underlying blissful ignorance in his argument that betrays his room-temperature IQ. Or maybe he’s the closeted one who is looking.

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