Joey Barton took to Twitter to pay tribute to Thomas Hitzlsperger after the former Aston Villa and West Ham midfielder revealed that he is gay.
QPR’s Barton has been shortlisted in the ‘Straight Ally of the Year’ category at this year’s Out In The City and G3 Magazine Awards for speaking out on the issue of homopobia.
And he tweeted: “Thomas Hitzlsperger has shown a lot of courage today. Sad times when people have to wait till they retire from their chosen profession before they feel other people will judge them solely on who the human being is. Shame on all of us as a society.”
Meanwhile, former Chelsea defender Alex, now with Paris St-Germain, has faced criticism after apparently making anti-gay comments in a French television programme about religion in football.
Alex is quoted as saying: “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Yves.”
Barton commented: “To be [a] religious extremist, you must first be extremely dumb in my opinion. Alex from PSG simply confirms my theory with his comments today.”
QPR coach Wally Downes tweeted: “I realy enjoyed working with Thomas H at WHU, he was a classy guy who underestimated how much he could influence other players. #stillclassy.”