Following the brave decision by Blackpool’s Jake Daniels to come out as the UK’s only openly gay active male professional footballer, Jurgen Klopp was quick to praise the 17-year-old.
Speaking with the media after the victory over Southampton, the 54-year-old said: ‘Fantastic that he is brave enough to do that, at 17 years [old] it is absolutely exceptional. When I saw him talking I couldn’t believe he is 17 years old, he is obviously a very mature boy.
‘The whole football community will support him, whatever we can do, I am 100 per cent sure. When he was talking about it, I loved it – how he really delivered his message.
‘He wanted to – and he is right what he said – he didn’t want to hide anymore. Good, exactly the right way to do it. I don’t know him but I am really proud of him.
‘It was an important step; we live in 2022 and that we have to make such a big thing of it is crazy, but we’re getting there, it’s a good start. Now I hope others will follow and can do it as well. That would be absolutely outstanding.
‘I’m really happy for him, it was like he said what he said and it was like, ‘Oh my God, he is really now exactly where he wants to be.’ Absolutely top-class’.
It was an amazing move by the teenager to make the decision to come out and it’s great to see how much support he has received from the footballing world.
Unfortunately, there has been some hate and backlash but the more people who continue to show love – the more this will be drowned out and hopefully education will make teach others to be more tolerant and accepting.
Jake Daniels, we salute you and can only echo the brilliant words of Jurgen Klopp.