The best LGBTQ athletes around the world

Czech soccer player Jakub Jankto becomes first active international men’s player to come out as gay

Stars Insider

14/02/23 | StarsInsider


The world of sports is still largely considered homophobic and transphobic. It's no surprise then that very few athletes in top leagues choose to come out while playing. Fortunately, we've started to see changes in recent years—just consider the amount of out Olympians lately. Of course, there are pioneers who came out long before we were even having these conversations, like tennis legends Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. And those who chose to come out after their careers ended are trailblazers too, pushing the conversation forward. It takes a village!

Czech soccer player Jakub Jankto has made history as the first active international men’s player to come out as gay. “Like everybody else, I have my strengths, I have my weaknesses; I have a family, I have my friends,” the 27-year-old said in a video released on social media February 13. “I have a job, which I have been doing it as best as I can, for years, with seriousness, professionalism and passion. Like everybody else, I also want to live my life in freedom without fears, without prejudice, without violence, but with love. I am homosexual, and I no longer want to hide myself.”

The midfielder is currently on loan at Sparta Prague from Spanish club Getafe, and the Czechia-based team shared a statement of support saying that Jankto had already came out to his club, coach, and teammates "some time ago" and added, “No further comments. No more questions. You have our support. Live your life, Jakub. Nothing else matters.”

Click on to see other gifted athletes from around the world, of times past and present, who came out as LGBTQ.

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