Speaking to Die Zelt the midfielder hoped that his coming out would “move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards”. However he added that the issue of homosexuality is still a huge taboo with the world of football, adding:
Just picture 20 men sat around a table together drinking – you’ve just got to let the majority be, just as long as the jokes are halfway funny and the talk about homosexuality doesn’t get too insulting
Hitzlsperger, who made over 100 appearances for Aston Villa and was nicknamed ‘Der Hammer’ retired from football in September due to injury aged only 31. His retirement means that there has yet to be a current professional footballer to come out as gay in Britain since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Whilst Thomas’ announcement is a step in the right direction there are still questions over the F.A’s commitment to stamping out homophobia in football.