Richarlison and Lucas Digne: Everton duo insist out gay team-mate would be accepted

Everton showing support for Liverpool City Region Pride on Saturday

Richarlison
Image: Brazil international Richarlison is confident a male professional player coming out would be accepted by his team-mates

Everton duo Richarlison and Lucas Digne insist the footballing world would offer their unconditional support should a Premier League footballer come out publicly as gay.

Saturday is Liverpool City Region Pride, an annual event celebrating the local LGBT+ community which Everton will again be supporting.

The Blues have their own LGBT+ and allies supporters group, called Rainbow Toffees, while in May, the club signed up to become Stonewall Diversity Champions as a further commitment to inclusion.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: A captains arm band in support of the Rainbow Laces campaign is seen during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC at Anfield on December 04, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Image: Everton have been strong supporters of Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign in recent seasons

There are currently no out gay or bisexual male professional footballers in the British game, but Richarlison is aware that football "can't be a bubble in the world" and hopes the sport can catch up with the rest of society.

"I think football is becoming more inclusive and so it should," Richarlison told Everton's official website.

"The world has changed a lot. We can no longer live as people did 100 years ago.

"We are all the same and we should be treated this way.

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"I don't think it would be a problem here or anywhere else [if a player came out as gay].

"Everyone must be treated, first, with respect and equality."

Meanwhile, France international Digne is optimistic a player coming out would create no issues among a squad, based on his own experiences playing in France, Spain, Italy and England.

Lucas Digne has created 20 more chances than Everton's next most creative player, Gylfi Sigurdsson
Image: Lucas Digne has played for Lille, PSG, Roma, Barcelona and Everton

"We would react normally. We would not have any problem at all with this [a player declaring he was gay]," Digne added.

"Players are open, we talk about every subject. Nobody would need to be shocked and everything would be OK.

"It is something which is normal.

"Everybody is treated equally. This is how it is at Everton and what I have always seen in football.

"This would be no different, it would not be an issue."

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