Football

Football Manager 2018 Features Gay Players In Effort To Reduce Stigma

Football Manager 2018 Features Gay Players In Effort To Reduce Stigma

Football Manager is a forward-thinking video game.

Last summer, the ultra-popular management sim included 'Brexit' scenarios where the UK splitting from the EU would have an impact on how you signed foreign players if you managed in the region, but this year they are taking a bigger step in terms of including something that is not yet a regular part of the real life footballing world.

Speaking to the BBC, Sports Interactive director Miles Jacobson explained that in the new game Football Manager 2018 (which is released in early November) the newly generated young players - those that begin to emerge after the first couple of seasons to replace players who are retiring and reflect the natural conveyor belt of players are clubs - will be able to come out as gay.

Part of the reason we decided to do this is because there are gay footballers. We know from the amount of professionals that there has to be players who are gay but feel they don't want to come out.

I find it weird that it's still a problem in football so we decided to try and show people that coming out isn't a big deal and can be a positive thing.

I just think it's crazy that in 2017 we are in a world where people can't be themselves.

A screenshot from the game shows what you can expect to see if a player you are managing comes out.

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No real-life players currently in the game will be able to come out due to the legal risks that would entail, but it is a possibility for the 'newgens' that populate the game as you continue. It won't happen all the time - in fact, Jacobson has revealed that it will be a rare occurrence.

It's not a message that everyone is going to see in their game. It is quite rare, but we want it to be seen as a positive thing.

We also had to take some legal advice, because in some countries that are less forward-thinking than the UK, it is still illegal to be gay. In those cases we have simply respected their laws, so if a player is based in one of those countries, the player won't come out.

It is an interesting idea from Football Manager, and while it may not stop the homophobic abuse that is still unfortunately seen on far too regular a basis in modern sport - and football in particular - it is an effort to normalise the idea and one which should be praised.

[via BBC.com]

Mikey Traynor

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