‘Gay’ Premier League player reveals pain of sexuality secret

A gay player in the Premier League has revealed the “absolute nightmare” of keeping his sexuality secret from his manager and teammates.

There are currently no openly gay players in the Premier League and the only one to declare his sexuality in England during his playing career was Justin Fashanu.

Former Norwich and Nottingham Forest forward Fashanu came out in 1990 and died eight years later.

His niece Amal runs the Justin Fashanu Foundation, which has released a letter from the anonymous top-flight player in which he talks about the difficulties of his situation.

“There is something that sets me apart from most of the other players in the Premier League,” he wrote.

“I am gay. Even writing that down in this letter is a big step for me. But only my family members and a select group of friends are aware of my sexuality. I don’t feel ready to share it with my team or my manager.

“That’s hard. I spend most of my life with these guys and when we step out on the pitch we are a team.

“But still, something inside me makes it impossible for me to be open with them about how I feel. I dearly hope one day soon I will be able to.”

Watford striker Troy Deeney said recently that there is probably one gay or bisexual player in every team.

The unnamed player says he has known he was gay since the age of 19 as he added: “How does it feel having to live like this? Day-to-day, it can be an absolute nightmare. And it is affecting my mental health more and more.

“I feel trapped and my fear is that disclosing the truth about what I am will only make things worse. So, although my heart often tells me

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Mayweather teases potential new deal with MMA company Rizin

FILE — Floyd Mayweather, left, of the U.S. shakes hands with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa during a press conference in Tokyo, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. (Katsuya Miyagawa/Kyodo News via AP)

MANILA, Philippines—Floyd Mayweather is happily retired from the sport of boxing but he’s still constantly looking for new dealings.

In an Instagram post Friday, Mayweather said that he will be traveling to Tokyo to meet with mixed martial arts company Rizin on potential plans this year.

“Soon I’m going to hop on my jet to Tokyo, Japan for a meeting with my partners Rizin for something this year 2020,” posted Mayweather. “Stay tuned.”

Rizin and Mayweather have had business dealings in the past. Most notable was the boxer’s involvement in the Rizin 14 card where he fought kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa in a boxing match.

Mayweather and Nasukawa fought at welterweight despite the Japanese being a natural featherweight.

The former five-division boxing champion retired from boxing in 2015 after winning a 12-round decision over Andre Berto but returned two years later in a massive crossover fight against UFC superstar Conor McGregor.

Mayweather eventually stopped McGregor in 10 rounds in their junior middleweight clash that became the second biggest pay-per-view event in history earning 4.3 million buys just behind the Fight of the Century between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao that drew 4.6 million buys.


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Manchester United targets and Real Madrid loanee feature in list of biggest underperformers post lockdown

European football’s restart has been warmly welcomed.

The spring’s enforced pause in play because of coronavirus checked progress across the continent. Certain players, however, have found it more difficult than others to get back up to pace since the resumptions.

Here is one from each of the four major competitions – courtesy of Wyscout and WhoScored statistics – who has struggled to hit their previous heights.

BUNDESLIGA

Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Jadon Sancho.

Sancho is, unquestionably, one of football’s brightest starlets and likely generator of the summer’s largest transfer fee.

His long-mooted switch to Manchester United – if it reaches fruition – will come amid the back drop of a muted end to a disrupted Bundesliga season.

A hat-trick against Paderborn was the 20-year-old’s only addition in his last nine appearances to a career-best 17-goal-season tally, while moving onto 16 assists with just one extra in this period.

Pre-lockdown he’d clocked a goal or assist every 64.6 minutes – a staggering ratio. It nearly doubled to 128.3 minutes after lockdown.

Sporting director Michael Zorc blamed the prodigious England winger being “completely tired” for his bench role in the final two fixtures. These two substitute appearances, totalling 63 minutes, produced just one unsuccessful dribble.

This was, partly, understandable because of a lingering ankle problem. Sancho’s current paymasters will hope agitation or distraction were not to blame, especially if the deal – pegged at €120 million by Bild – does not go ahead

LA LIGA

Martin Odegaard (Real Sociedad)

Martin Odegaard (l).

Martin Odegaard (l).

Norway schemer Odegaard’s fortunes have mirrored those of La Real.

The 21-year-old’s bold displays in midfield drove Imanol Alguacil’s charges into an unlikely Champions League-qualification berth. November’s master class in the 4-1 defeat of Eibar then helped signal that this once-maligned ‘flop’ had a bright future at parent-club Real Madrid.

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