Czech football international Jakub Jankto came out as gay in a video posted to his Twitter account on Monday, saying he didn't want to "hide it any longer". "I'm gay and I don't want to hide it any longer," said 27-year-old attacking midfielder Jankto, who plays for Sparta Prague on loan from Spanish club Getafe.
“Like everyone else, I also want to live my life in freedom, without fear, without having to suffer, without violence, … with love,” he added. Jankto, who has 45 national team caps, has also worn club shirts for Udinese and Sampdoria Genoa, Italy. His current club said the player informed the managers and his teammates "some time ago". "We support you. Live your life, Jakub. Nothing else matters,” Sparta Prague wrote on Twitter.
"Our greatest respect and unwavering support for our footballer Jakub Jankto," responded Getafe. "Proud of you, Jakub!" tweeted La Liga leader FC Barcelona. Messages of support have also come from the highest levels of world football. "We are all with you, Jakub. Football is for everyone,” the International Federation (Fifa) tweeted. "Well done, Jakub. You had a real inspiration, and European football is with you! UEFA also reacted in a tweet.
Few top players have come out in the world of football. Among them, the Englishman Justin Fashanu in 1990, when he played for London club West Ham, the Australian under-20 international Josh Cavallo (Adelaide United) in 2021, as well as Jake Daniels (Blackpool / English D2 ), in May 2022, when he was only 17 years old. In rugby, Gareth Thomas, former captain of the XV of Wales, was the first rugby player in history to come out, in December 2009, two years after his retirement from playing. Two weeks ago, New Zealander Campbell Johnstone, former pillar of the All Blacks in 2005 (3 caps), came out.