To combat homophobia, German football club St. Pauli will permanently fly the rainbow flag.
“The club has been active for many years against homophobia and discrimination,” said St. Pauli’s Vice President Gernot Stenger said in a press release.
“With this flag, we are giving this highly-visible sign that these issues have great importance at St. Pauli and we are working hard on them.”
The German Football Federation proposed a strategy for clubs handling the media if a player were to come out. Chancellor Angela Merkel told gay players they should not be afraid to be who they are.
“I am of the opinion that anyone who sums up the strength and bravery – and we have a long tradition of this behind us in politics – should know that they live in a land where they have nothing to fear,” said Merkel. “The fact that there are still fears for some people for their own situation means we need to send out a clear message: you must not be afraid.”
Currently, no footballer in Germany is openly out, despite speculation.