Czech Republic midfielder Jakub Jankto posted a video on social media on Monday saying he is gay, making him one of the most high-profile male soccer players to come out.
Jankto posted a video on Twitter saying: “I’m homosexual. And I no longer want to hide myself.”
The 27-year-old Jankto is playing for Sparta Prague this season on loan from Spanish club Getafe. He has previously played for Italian clubs Sampdoria and Udinese and has made 45 appearances for the Czech national team, scoring four goals and setting up 13 more.
“Like everyone else, I want to live my life with freedom, without fear, without violence, without prejudice, but with love,” Jankto says in the video.
Former Udinese and Sampdoria midfielder Jakub Jankto has come out as gay, in what could be a big turning point for so many in men’s football who feel the need to hide a big part of themselves. 👏💙
Well done, Jakub.
— Total Italian Football (@SerieATotal) February 13, 2023
Sparta Prague’s official Twitter account retweeted the video and said “you have our support.”
“Live your life, Jakub,” the club added.
Getafe also posted a message on Twitter, saying: “Our utmost respect and unconditional support to our player Jakub Jankto.”
The Czech national team said “nothing is changing for us.”
The Premier League responded to Jankto’s video with a comment saying: “We’re with you, Jakub. Football is for everyone.”
Jankto has a 3-year-old son, David, with his partner Marketa. Their relationship ended in 2021.
While women’s soccer features many prominent LGBTQ+ players, it’s still rare for professional male players to come out publicly as gay.
Josh Cavallo, who plays for Adelaide United in Australia, became the only openly gay player in a top men’s league when he came out in 2021.
Last year, Jake Daniels of English second-division club Blackpool became the first active male professional soccer player in Britain to publicly say he’s gay.