Former Sampdoria and Udinese midfielder Jakub Jankto has come out as gay, becoming the latest professional footballer to do so. The Czech Republic international is arguably the highest-profile current player to have come out.
Jankto, now 27 and playing on loan at Getafe from Sparta Prague, has followed in the footsteps of Australian Josh Cavallo and Blackpool’s Jake Daniels in coming out while being an active footballer.
“Hi, I’m Jakub Jankto,” the midfielder said in a video published on his social media channels, opening a Twitter account on the day of his announcement. “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.”
Support for Jankto
Being the highest-profile player to come out as gay can’t have been an easy decision for Jankto to make, but he has had widespread support online since making his announcement.
The Premier League’s Twitter account replied to Jankto by saying: “We’re with you, Jakub. Football is for everyone,” and FIFPRO joined with a similar sentiment by adding: “Live your life, Jakub. Proud.”
There were no responses from any of the Italian clubs that Jankto played for – Sampdoria, Udinese and Ascoli – nor were there any comments from any of Serie A’s accounts across different languages.
Getafe, where Jankto is contracted to and is currently on loan from, shared his video and wrote: “Our utmost respect and unconditional support to our Jakub Jankto.”