Robert Hampton

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11th January 2013

The Right Attitude
Posted by at 7.41pm | Gay | 3 responses

Matt Jarvis on the cover of AttitudeWest Ham footballer Matt Jarvis has given an in-depth interview to Attitude magazine, talking about the game’s “Last Taboo” (© every cliché-spouting journalist ever).

He’s not the first footballer to appear in Attitude. David Beckham and Freddie Ljungberg both confirmed their gay-friendly credentials by featuring on previous covers, while the openly-gay Anton Hysén has also appeared in the magazine (I wrote about it back in May 2011).

In the interview, Jarvis says that he believes gay footballers should come out, saying, “it’s not something that’s going to be a shock” (not sure I’d agree with that, but he knows a lot more about the world of football than me).

He also repeats another frequently-voiced opinion: it’s not dressing room “banter” or image-conscious sponsors that a gay footballer would have to worry about, but chants and abuse from the fans in the stadium. Personally, I don’t understand why normal rules of decorum and behaviour go out of the window in a football stadium, but then again, I’m someone for whom crown-green bowls is a bit too fast-paced and exciting.

It’s great to see another footballer stand up on this issue. I do have a quibble, however: whose idea was it to put him on the cover with his shirt off? It’s certainly aesthetically pleasing (ahem), and no doubt the magazine will shift a few more copies on the basis of the pictures alone (there are more inside). I wonder, though, if it sends the wrong message: namely, that gay men are only interested in what Jarvis has to say because he’s wearing nothing but a pair of tiny shorts.

The full interview with Jarvis covers everything from his potential international career to what moisturiser he uses. It’s in the February 2013 issue of Attitude, on sale now at all good newsagents, and some really bad ones too. A digital edition is also available.