Lesbian Football/Soccer Players

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Out lesbians in professional football/soccer are quite prevalent and prominent in their sport. This occurs across a broad swathe of regions and countries, and is in marked contrast to the situation in men's professional sports. In fact, women's football had the most out players of all sports included in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

The reason for this is entirely because of the culture of acceptance within the governing bodies of the sport, the teams, and among the players themselves. This culture has been present since the organizational beginning of the sport. This evolution is reflected in the large number of former out players who have remained in the sport and graduated to become either lesbian coaches or managers. The most prominent of these include Germany's Steffi Jones (now with senior management at FIFA), Sweden's Pia Sundhage (former coach of the American national team), and Great Britain's Hope Powell (coach of their national team).

The majority of these professional football/soccer athletes play not only on teams in local sports leagues, but also on national teams. They compete in regional divisions, world cups, and the Olympic games. Some have become household names in their home countries due to their success in representing their country. American Abby Wambach is so popular that toy company Mattel launched a new Barbie design dedicated to her on her retirement in 2015 and after she won two Olympic gold medals, a World Cup, and was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year a record six times. Wambach has been open about her sexual orientation throughout her life and career and married her long time partner in 2013.

Nevertheless, lesbian football/soccer players still face considerable amounts of homophobic abuse from fans. This is more a reflection of mob mentality than the fact that a majority of fans are homophobes. The situation does point out the important, and often brave, role which being visible and out has in the promotion of tolerance and diversity. It also points out the responsibility of fans to call out homophobia when they see or hear it, rather than being silent and complicit to the act. For its part, the sports' regulatory body FIFA has imposed hefty fines on sports clubs whose fans display homophobic behaviour.

Being an out lesbian football/soccer player has not reduced the marketability or sponsorship potential of an athlete, unlike in many other sports. However, there remains a wide gap in compensation levels for women football/soccer players compared to men.

We have identified lesbian football/soccer players from Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Chile, the United States, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Mexico, Spain, Scotland, and France. Simply click on their names to read their fascinating biographies.









Great Britain




New Zealand



South Africa




The Netherlands

Trinidad and Tobago

United States


See Also

Further Reading/Research

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