Mario Gomez, a star German football player, is challenging the sports establishment by calling on gay players to come out and be "liberated."
According to the Guardian, Gomez, a striker for Bayern Munich, told a German magazine that gay players' performance would be improved if they came out. Other players and football officials have warned against having openly gay players.
But Gomez sees no reason to hide.
"They would play as if they had been liberated," he said. "Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic."
Gomez, 25, did not say whether he was gay, but he added that Germany offers a number of positive gay role models outside the sports arena, the Guardian reported.
"We've got a gay vice-chancellor [Guido Westerwelle]; the Berlin mayor [Klaus Wowereit] is gay. So professional footballers should own up to their preference," he said.