Two Bayern footballers marry and the club posts a picture of it. For footballers, such a scenario seems unthinkable and you have to ask the question: why is that still the case?
Two women footballers of FC Bayern have married and the club has spread a picture of the two in the wedding dress when cutting the wedding cake. Few people have noticed that in Germany, even less have echauffiert about it and that's nice. It's also pretty normal for two people to marry. You might argue about the challenges of sharing work with your spouse, but that too can get a few people out in this country.
And now a short thought experiment: What would happen if two footballers of Bayern would marry and the club would post a photo of it on his social media channels? Same sport, same league, same club, different gender.
The result would not be a collective shrug, the result would be a so-called media earthquake and then … yes, that's the question: what then? Nobody really knows this, because there are no empirical values. Because even in 2018, even after the parliamentary resolution of the marriage, there is no active professional football player in Germany who has decided for himself: I am gay and I say that and good.
Of course nobody has to do that. But the fact is that since the founding of the Bundesliga every single homosexual player has decided for himself to live in hiding rather than to go public. In theory, it is possible that each one of them did so with the argument that the public does not care about who I live with. But it is quite possible that some would like to appear with their partner at the club Christmas party, as others with their partner.
The film "Mario" was just released at the Hamburg Film Festival, and premieres in Berlin on 15 October. It deals with the described scenario: Two professional footballers fall in love with each other. The FC St. Pauli has provided for the film jerseys and stadium, the team was present at the premiere. Thomas Hitzlsperger, who spoke about his homosexuality in an interview more than four years ago, says today his fears of going public have been unfounded. Almost all Bundesliga clubs have fan clubs belonging to the gay-lesbian network QFF (Queer Football Fanclubs).
The fear of the reactions of the fans is an often-used argument against a passage to the public, while in many curves already the rainbow flag can be seen. Another argument is the acceptance in the cabin – whether that would be a problem, which can probably only answer other professional footballers.
At any rate, the film and wedding photo of the Bayern footballers are a welcome occasion for the players in men's football to question themselves again and again whether they really do everything they can to gain social acceptance for any kind of sexuality. Or as it can be explained otherwise, that every single gay player in the league comes to the decision: I'd rather be quiet.