Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised Blackpool striker Jake Daniels after the 17-year-old publicly came out as gay earlier this week.
Speaking after the Reds beat Southampton 2-0 on Tuesday, Klopp took time out of his post-match press conference to comment on the “courageous” announcement made by Daniels, who is now one of the few openly gay professional footballers.
Klopp said the football community will support Daniels as he continues his career.
What did Klopp say about Jake Daniels?
“Fantastic that he feels brave enough to do this,” Klopp told reporters. “When I saw him speak I couldn’t believe he was 17. He’s obviously very mature. The whole football community will support him with whatever we can do, I’m 100% sure of that. .
“I loved the way he really delivered his message. He was right in what he said. He didn’t want to hide anymore. Good. That’s exactly the right way to do it.
“I don’t know him but I’m really proud of him. It’s a milestone. We’re living in 2022. That we have to make it such a big thing, it’s crazy, but we’re getting there.
“It’s a good start and now I hope others will follow and can do the same. It would be absolutely exceptional.
“I’m really happy for him. He’s exactly where he wants to be. Top class.”
The bigger picture
In his initial announcement, Daniels said he was taking “a step into the unknown” as he was unsure how his message might be received by the wider football community.
The sport has always struggled to accept those from marginalized groups, including gay people, and numerous fan incidents this season, such as one targeting Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour, have demonstrated that discrimination on the basis of orientation does not has not been eradicated.
But plenty of big names in football have backed Daniels this week, with Klopp’s message joining an outpouring of support from those in positions of power who can perhaps help the teenager understand the positive power of what he did, even if an undercurrent of hatred comes from elsewhere. remains.