Jakub Jankto, a Czech football player, has become the first active and highest-profile international male player to come out as gay.
The 27-year-old, who is on loan at Sparta Prague from Spanish club Getafe, shared a video on Twitter making the announcement on Monday Feb. 13.
“Like everybody else, I also want to live my life in freedom without fears, without prejudice, without violence, but with love,” Jankto said.
“I am homosexual, and I no longer want to hide myself,” he said.
Jankto had been open about his sexual orientation with the Sparta Prague‘s management, coach and teammates, according to a statement released by the club.
“You have our support. Live your life, Jakub. Nothing else matters,” Sparta Prague said in the statement.
Football associations including FIFA and the Premier League have also shared their support of Jankto on social media.
We’re with you, Jakub. Football is for everyone 🏳️🌈— Premier League (@premierleague) February 13, 2023
Several football clubs have also shown support to the Czech midfielder.
Football is for all. Chelsea fully supports you, Jakub! 💙— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 13, 2023
The video has gained more than 16.3 million views since it was released a day ago.