Czech international footballer comes out as gay

The Czech football player Jakub Jankto, who has played 45 times for his country’s national team, has come out as homosexual. This is the first time an active international men’s football player has been open about being gay in a sport where the subject is still taboo. The 27-year-old has received encouragement but also countless insults, especially on social networks. The national press sees Jankto and his club Sparta Prague as role models.

Denik N (CZ) /

A courageous example to follow

Deník N hopes other teams will do the same:

“LGBTQ+ is still seen negatively in the football world. We see hate comments, offensive images and mocking reactions on popular sports portals around the world. The vast majority of them come from fans from Africa, the Arab world or South America whose faith does not allow them to support a gay footballer. Jankto’s coming out was the first, but we can hope it will not be the last. Homosexuals will not disappear from this world, and that goes for footballers too. Who knows how many players feel the same way without being able to say it out loud. Maybe Jankto will give them the courage they need with this step.”

Erik Zahradil
Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Commendable response from his milieu

Journalist Miroslav Seifert expresses gratitude in Lidové noviny:

“I take my hat off to Jakub. ... And I also gratefully acknowledge the reaction of his club and teammates. They are backing him even though things could well get a little harder for him on the pitch now. Among athletes, and above all active ones, this is not the usual reaction. The legendary tennis player Martina Navrátilová lost most of her sponsors after she came out as gay, for example. I believe that Jakub Jankto will become a role model for many other athletes (and not only for them), and that the term ‘homosexual’ does not have to remain a stigma or taboo in our society forever.”

Miroslav Seifert