News broke on Wednesday that former Premier League midfielder, Thomas Hitzlsperger, has 'come out' as gay.
Der Hammer, as he is known due to his traction-engine of a left foot, played for West Ham, Aston Villa and Everton as well as stints in Germany and at Lazio.
He also played for the German National team 52 times.
The announcement seems to have been met with largely positive comments, but there are still those that aren't so accepting.
"Why is this news?" has been banded about a lot on social media sites, like Twitter, suggesting that some people feel the story isn't newsworthy.
Hopefully, they actually mean (in 2014) why is this news?
The fact that Hitzlsperger felt he had to wait until his retirement to come out is a damning statement about the state of football. Although thankfully it has moved on from the Justin Fashanu era.
The former Germany international was well liked during his playing days, but one can assume he still didn't feel comfortable discussing it with his teammates.
"Homosexuality isn't a serious topic for discussion in England, Germany or Italy - at least not in the dressing room," he told German magazine, Zeit.
"I want to talk about my homosexuality," he said. And so he should. The more we discuss the issue, the more accepted it will become.
"By doing this I am hoping to move the discussion on homosexuality in professional sport forward."
By putting this story in the news, hopefully the discussion will move forward following Hitzlsperger's announcement. Hopefully, he will inspire others to come forward and make homosexuality a complete non-issue within European football.
On the same day, the Metro have reported that Paris Saint Germain's defender Alex has been condemned for some anti-gay comments made on French TV, in a documentary called Jesus Football Club.
His comments show that football still has a long way to go if attitudes are dragged from the dark ages to be in-keeping with those of the 21st Century, but here's hoping Hitzlsperger has started something.
Hopefully football produces a lot more people like Thomas Hitzlsperger, and a lot less like Alex.
Long live Der Hammer.
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