Czech Republic international midfielder Jakub Jankto has come out as gay.
He announced his homosexuality publicly on his newly created Twitter profile on Monday. He also crossposted the video to his 54,000 followers on Instagram.
“Hi, I’m Jakub Jankto,” says the 27-year-old midfielder who’s currently on loan with Spanish club Getafe.
“Like everybody else, I have my strengths, I have my weaknesses; I have a family, I have my friends.”
“I have a job, which I have been doing it as best as I can, for years, with seriousness, professionalism and passion. Like everybody else, I also want to live my life in freedom without fears, without prejudice, without violence, BUT with love.
“I am homosexual, and I no longer want to hide myself.”
Sparta Prague shows support for Jakub opening up
“Jakub spoke openly about his sexual orientation with the club some time ago,” said Jankto’s club Sparta Prague in clear support of their player.
“Everything else concerns his personal life. No further comments. No more questions. You have our support. Live your life, Jacob. Nothing else matters.”
The former Udinese and Sampdoria midfielder, once considered one of the most undervalued players in Serie A, follows a line of high-profile footballers who’s revealed their homosexuality, including Leeds United Robbie Rogers, Adelaide defender Josh Cavallo, and Blackpool attackman Jake Daniels.
But Jankto is the first active player to come out as gay since Justin Fashanu opened up in 1990.
Neymar took to Instagram to send a supportive message to Jankto, emphasizing that football is a sport for all.
“It’s an important day. Everyone is free, there should be less prejudice, whether that’s homophobia, racism, or any kind of discrimination,” said the Brazilian striker ahead of PSG’s Champions League Round of 16 clash against Bayern.
Jankto, who was linked with a move to Arsenal to replace Lucas Torreira in 2018 amid interest from Juventus and AC Milan, currently has 45 caps with the Czech Republic side. He’s scored four goals.