Czech football player comes out on social media

In a video posted today that thousands of supporters worldwide liked and shared, Spartans midfielder Jakub Jankto came out as gay. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 13.02.2023 16:22:00 (updated on 14.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech professional footballer Jakub Jankto came out on social media this afternoon.

This makes Jankto the first openly gay Czech football player to compete in the European league.

Jankto posted the video to his Twitter account on Monday afternoon. In the post, which is already racking up thousands of likes and retweets the 27-year-old midfielder said:

“Like everyone else, I have my strengths, I have my weaknesses. I have family, I have friends. I have a job that I do to the best of my ability. For many years, with all seriousness, professionally, and with passion. Like everyone else, I want to live my life freely. No fear, no prejudice, no violence. But with love. I'm gay and I don't want to hide anymore.”

In a full show of support, Jankto's team, AC Sparta Praha, retweeted his post with the message, "Jakub Jankto spoke openly about his sexual orientation with the club's management, coach, and teammates some time ago. Everything else concerns his personal life. No further comments. No more questions. You have our support. Live your life, Jacob. Nothing else matters.”

Supporters from around the world who responded positively to the news include Arsenal FC Español, Sky Sports, and Czech Republic’s leading advocacy group for gay rights, Jsem Fér who wrote:

“Jakub, thank you for opening your heart and for the courage to go #sbarvouven. You are our hero.” (In Czech, the hashtag "sbarvouven" means "to come out with all the colors of the rainbow.")


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Czech news server reports that Jankto has a three-year-old son David from a former relationship, but he and his partner broke up in 2021. Though their breakup was widely discussed in the tabloids, Jankto never commented on his partner's insults and protected his privacy.

The server also noted that Jankto is currently in Sparta on a one-year loan from the Spanish Premier League club Getafe, to which he should return in the summer.

Jankto has also played in Udine, Sampdoria Genoa, and Ascoli. He has played 45 matches for the Czech national team in which he scored four goals.

In 1990, English football star Justin Fashanu stunned the football world when he came out in an interview. In 2020, on the 30th anniversary of Fashanu’s coming out, the BBC reported that he remained the only male footballer to reveal his sexuality while playing professionally in the top tiers.

Players like Fashanu have blazed a trail for others to come out since then, but gay players around the world and their supporters continue to face discrimination.

In 2022 at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is criminalized, football fans wearing rainbow clothing said they were refused entry into World Cup stadiums, while the International Football Federation (FIFA) banned the captains of seven European countries from wearing rainbow armbands in support of the One Love campaign promoting diversity in football.

Other Czech athletes to have come out include tennis star Martina Navratilova, snowboard racer Sarka Pancochova, and two-time female footballer of the year Lucie Vonkova.

Jankto's video message of love and acceptance is currently being shared by fans, supporters, and major media outlets around the world.

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