Twitter reacts as Czech footballer Jakub Jankto publicly comes out as gay

After Jakub's video message on Twitter, a lot of players, coaches and football personalities extended their support to the player.

Jakub Jankto in action for Sampdoria, Credit: Twitter/@sampdoria_en
By Hiranya Karnatak | Feb 14, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


Jakub Jankto, a Czech international, has emerged as the highest profile male footballer to come out as gay. On Monday, the 27-year-old Getafe midfielder, who is now on loan at Sparta Prague, posted a video on social media announcing the news. Coming out has traditionally been viewed as a taboo topic in men’s football, unlike in women’s football.

Justin Fashanu, a former forward for England’s U21 team, is often regarded as the first athlete to openly declare his homosexuality. The Englishman did so in 1990, late in his career, and was subsequently a frequent subject of taunts from onlookers. Defender Thomas Berling, who played for Norway at the U19 level, retired in 2000 at the age of 21 due to homophobia in the sport. Josh Cavallo, an Australian player for Adelaide United, came out as homosexual in 2021, making him the only out gay player in a major men’s league at that time. Jake Daniels, an active male professional soccer player in England’s second division for the club Blackpool, also came out as homosexual last year.

Read More: Czech football player Jakub Jankto comes out as gay

What did Jakub Jankto say?

The former Sampdoria footballer introduced himself and added, “Like everyone else, I have my strengths, my weaknesses, a family, and my friends. I have a job which I have been doing 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.”

In the football community, a debate over Jankto’s moving video has sparked support for the star player’s decision to come out as gay. Marketa Ottomanska, the ex-wife of the Getafe star, has also praised Jankto for taking the initiative to come forward. “The fact that he was able to have the courage to go public makes me incredibly pleased. He announces it first among current football players. The retired ones are the only ones who have acknowledged it; everyone else maintains it a secret. They fear what others would think, ” explained Jankto’s ex-wife.

Neymar and Nagelsmann react

Julian Nagelsmann, the head coach of Bayern Munich, supported Jakub’s choice to come out and praised his bravery. “I do think it’s brave, but I think it’s unfortunate that we have to talk about it as being brave because it ought to be the standard. To come out with it shouldn’t need bravery. In fact, he is filling the shoes of a lot of people who may not have been able to make statements of this nature in the past, and I think it is a pretty incredible thing to accomplish. I’m happy for him that he did it and I hope it makes his life much more comfortable for him.”

Neymar was questioned about the clip on Monday before Paris Saint-Champions Germain’s League match against Bayern Munich. “It’s an important day. I think each person should be free, I don’t have any problem with this,” Neymar said through a translator. “Every human being should be free to be who they want.”

Getafe also tweeted the following: “Our player Jakub Jankto has our deepest admiration and unwavering support.” Nothing is changing for us, according to the Czech national team. You have our support, said Sparta Prague’s official Twitter account in response to the video. Jakub, live your life.

How did social media react to the news?