By David “Dirk” Smith, M.Sc., SDL (He/Him)
In a video published to his own Twitter account, the 27-year-old midfielder, currently playing for Sparta Prague, opened up about his sexual orientation.
“Hi, I’m Jakub Jankto,” he said. “Like everybody else, I have my strengths, I have my weaknesses; I have a family, I have my friends.
“I have a job, which I have been doing it as best as I can, for years, with seriousness, professionalism, and passion. Like everybody else, I also want to live my life in freedom without fears, without prejudice, without violence, but with love.
“I am homosexual, and I no longer want to hide myself.”
— Jakub Jankto (@jakubjanktojr) February 13, 2023
Jankto is the first male footballer to come out as gay in 2023 and follows Josh Cavallo of Adelaide United and Jake Daniels of Blackpool who came out in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Junkto is also the first professional athlete from the Czech Republic to come out publicly. His club, Sparta Prague also shared a statement in support of Jankto as did the official Premier League account on Twitter.
“So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters.
— AC Sparta Prague (@ACSparta_EN) February 13, 2023
The Sparta Prague statement simply read,
“Jakub spoke openly about his sexual orientation with the club some time ago. Everything else concerns his personal life. No further comments. No more questions. You have our support. Live your life, Jakub. Nothing else matters.”
We’re with you, Jakub. Football is for everyone 🏳️🌈
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 13, 2023
At the same time, Jankto has received an outpouring of support from fellow players, clubs, and the Czech national team as well. A nice, heartwarming show that is a positive indication of professional sports becoming more accessible and safer for openly gay and bi male athletes.