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Sun praised for coverage of news footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger is gay

By Press Gazette

The Sun has been praised for its coverage yesterday of the news that former Premier League footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger had revealed he was gay.

The former German international was praised as a “winner” on the Sun front page.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told The Guardian: “The Sun's coverage mirrors the huge positive shift in public attitudes towards gay people.

"The praise and tributes showered on Thomas will, hopefully, send a signal to current players that it's safe to come out. Indeed, judging from the public reaction, any footballer who comes out it is likely to experience reputational enhancement rather than damage.”

The former player for Aston Villa and Germany made his announcement in the German newspaper Die Zeit on Wednesday.

Former Independent editor Simon Kelner wrote: “…the biggest challenge in terms of changing perceptions may be what used to called the terraces, which are still, as anyone who goes regularly to football matches will know, a repository of racism, sexism and homophobia. And, in this respect, perhaps the biggest hero in this story is the editor of The Sun. Britain's most popular tabloid gave Hitzlsperger unequivocal validation on its front page, calling him ”brave“ and a ”winner“. It was a remarkable, cheering, piece of journalism, and was a clear indication that, for all strata of society, things are changing. 

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