French Soccer Player Patrice Evra Reveals His Teammates Were Openly Homophobic Towards Gay Players
French professional soccer player Patrice Evra, 40, recently revealed he witnessed locker room homophobia during his career, sharing that some of his former teammates at West Ham said they refuse to shower with gay players after they had a talk about inclusivity.
The former Manchester United defender spoke on the topic during a recent appearance on the Mid Point podcast with host Gabby Logan. He alleges that in 2018, before he retired that summer, an official from the Football Association (FA) came to the Hammers to give a talk on inclusivity and some of his teammates at the time allegedly responded negatively by not agreeing with accepting homosexual players at the club, some even calling for them to leave the club.
Without mentioning who the alleged gay players were, Evra told Gabby Logan, "It's like you can't be a gay football player, people will go mad."
'I give the example, when I was playing for West Ham, someone from the English federation came and he said "we need to accept everyone" and the amount of players that were like "no, if some of my team mates are gay they have to leave now, I won't do any shower [with them]".
'I stand up and I say "shut up, shut up everyone, can you hear yourselves?" We still don't accept everyone. In the football world they are not open minded enough and it's a shame.'
Evra has previously claimed that he has played with two gay footballers at every club and that former gay players had confided in him but could not go public for fears of a backlash, according to the Daily Mail.
'I understand because even myself when the players they were coming to me I was like, be careful because if you say it loud you see the reaction of all the players but I will support you and because I had such a power in the dressing room I will protect [you], I will support you.'
Ironically, the club was awarded last year with the Premier League's Equality Standard Advanced level accolade.
West Ham manager David Moyes was asked about Evra's comments and if an investigation would be made but insisted he had no knowledge of the events Evra was referring to.
"The first thing I'd say is that I know nothing about it, so I couldn't comment on it at all," he said at his press conference on Friday.
"But I think times have even moved on from four years ago, if that's when you're saying it was. I think lots of things have improved and everybody is much more aware of different situations.
"But I can't comment on it because I don't know anything about it."
Listen to Evra comments via The Mid Point podcast here. Start at 15:00.