From Z-list to B-list celebrity in just one sentence

This should be obvious, but: most professional football players aren’t really famous. Most professional football players aren’t even famous enough to go to the Dschungelcamp, and that is almost impossible.  

If I walk around in the city where I’m playing, some people recognise me, but if I would walk around in a city that’s 200 km away, I don’t think that many would know who I am (except people who are really interested in football or happen to be fans of my club.) And to be honest, I’m really glad about that. I don’t want to be really famous and I hate to be in the limelight. I hate giving interviews or going to photo shootings and all that stuff. This was one of the main reasons why I had doubts if I really want to become a professional football player. But then I realised that I definitely won’t be the next Zlatan and I told myself: “What do I worry about, 99% of humanity won’t even know that I exist.”

This could of course change in just one sentence.

I guess we all sometimes get the urge to open the car door while driving. Not because we want to do it or because we think it’s a good idea to do it or because we want to know what happens if we do it (I mean, we all know what would happen) but because it’s such a stupid idea and still so simple to do.  This is exactly how I feel about publicly talking about the fact that I’m into guys. Sometimes when I’m forced to give some stupid interview, my brain sometimes says: “Wouldn’t it be funny if you just say: Btw, I’m gay or: Btw, I’m happy that the Effzeh got destroyed today because my boyfriend’s a Gladbach fan.”

But of course I’m not doing that because then I would suddenly be (kind of) famous and even foreign newspapers who didn’t even know that my club exists would suddenly write about some not-so-interesting detail in my private life.

When people say that gay football players should tell everyone about their sexuality, they always say some shit like “Then you can be free and you don’t have to hide anymore and blablabla”.

But seriously, if you can’t walk around without 100 paparazzi following you or everyone staring at you while you’re just doing normal stuff like buying food or fuelling your car, that’s the complete opposite of freedom. As things are now, I can just go to some restaurant with my friends and with my boyfriend and no one cares about it and no shitty clickbait site writes something like “Romantic evening for [Player X] and [Boyfriend Y] – OMG, did he PROPOSE?” Or I can hug my teammates after a goal or we can all jump on top of each other without some stupid, incompetent ‘journalist’ speculating something like “Look at these photos and tell me that there isn’t something going on between [Player X] and [Player Y]. Look how they hug!” or “Scandal about [Player X]: Did he not hug [Player Y] because [Player Y] is gay?” No, for fuck’s sake, it was the 93rd minute of the match and [Player X] simply didn’t have the stamina to run all the way to [Player Y] to hug him.

Seriously, if I would have to think about stuff like this during a match, I would play like shit and my club would try to sell me as soon as possible. (And then of course, journalists would say: “Scandal about [Club XYZ]!!! They want to get rid of him only because he’s gay”.)

I mean this whole discussion about people’s sexual orientation is just disproportionate (I’m not really sure whether this is the right word, but you get what I mean).

If, let’s say, the third goalkeeper of the U21 team of Sandhausen would ride an elephant through the town, while only wearing a Borat costume, juggling beer bottles and whistling the Radetzky March, a few German sports journals and sites would mention this and maybe also a few foreign sports journals and sites. (Before there are misunderstandings: As far as I know, the third goalkeeper of the U21 team of Sandhausen never did anything like this. I don’t even know if the U21 team of Sandhausen has a third goalkeeper. Or if Sandhausen has a U21 team.) Seriously, nobody would care and it would be forgotten in a week.

But if the third goalkeeper of the U21 of Sandhausen would say “Btw, I’m gay, but don’t make a big deal out of it, it’s really not that interesting”, everyone would care and almost every goddamn newspaper in the world would talk about it and football officials would talk about it and politicians would talk about it and annoying American stars who don’t even know what real football is would praise him on Twitter.

And seriously: who in his right mind wants that people who didn’t even know of his existence a minute ago suddenly talk about his sex life?

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