Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Jake Daniels coming out ‘feels like watershed moment’ – PFA chair John Mousinho

Jake Daniels came out as gay on Monday (Sky Sports News/PA handout)
Jake Daniels came out as gay on Monday (Sky Sports News/PA handout)

Professional Footballers’ Association chairman John Mousinho believes the day is coming when more players feel comfortable coming out but warned the game still lags behind society.

The Oxford defender hailed Blackpool’s Jake Daniels after the forward came out on Monday, becoming the first openly gay active professional footballer in the UK since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

Daniels is a trailblazer in football but Mousinho can see a time when players coming out will be treated as normal.

Mousinho told the PA news agency: “Yes, I can, though I don’t think it’s going to be any time soon.

“Sometimes football is ahead of society and sometimes, in this case, football is behind society.

“These issues about someone coming out in my lifetime has moved on a huge amount but football is maybe 30-odd years behind. I think it will take time, hopefully not 30 years, but I can envisage that day. It will come, hopefully sooner rather than later.

“There are probably days if you rewind 30, 40 or 50 years where you couldn’t have envisaged the landscape as it is now.

“Hopefully it’s going to be the start of a much more inclusive game, especially on the men’s side. We already see it on the women’s side. The fact this is such big news is great but we also want to shift so these announcements are much more regular and normal.”

Daniels, 17, has been widely praised within football from clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City and AC Milan, the PFA, the FA and former and current players, with England skipper Harry Kane tweeting his backing.

Support is clearly there, with Mousinho’s only concern the reaction from the terraces when Daniels plays in front of fans.

“The football family has got behind him. It feels like a watershed moment because of the bravery it takes to do it and how well he has handled himself,” Mousinho said.

“We have discussed this at the PFA and we knew the reaction internally would be positive but the acid test is what happens when we see the fans’ side of the game.

“I know the majority will be 100 per cent behind Jake but what are away fans going to do? What are we going to see when things get difficult? It’s sad I’m thinking about it but it’s always been my concern with a player coming out.

“The dressing room has moved on massively since I turned pro 17 years ago. There’s still a bit of improvement to do but this announcement will help. The dressing room is a much more safe, inclusive place but I worry about what goes on outside of that.”

Jake Daniels
Jake Daniels has received widespread support from the football family (Sky Sports News/PA handout)

Daniels was inspired to come out by Adelaide’s Josh Cavallo, Thetford manager Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, including Olympic diver Tom Daley.

“It’s been quite a crazy year,” Daniels told Sky Sports News. “I’m 17. I’ve signed a professional contract. I’ve scored 30 goals this season and I’ve just made my first-team debut in the Championship, coming off the bench against Peterborough.

“And now I have decided to come out. Everything has happened at once but it feels right.

“When this season started, I just wanted to prove myself as a player. I think I have. So this was the one last thing in my head that I knew I needed to do.

“Now it’s out, and people know. Now I can just live my life how I want to and, you know what? It’s been incredible.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in