A top professional football mascot has announced that he will be coming out before a Premier League game. The mascot will reveal himself this Saturday but details about which club he represents are being kept secret until just before kick-off.
In a statement to the Daily Mail the mascot, who has the stage name of Mr Sprinkle said, “I’m coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional football mascots forward.”
It is understood that the mascot will then officially retire from professional football mascoting after the announcement has been made.
The 31 year old, who has made 105 appearances at national and international tournaments said that he only realised he was gay in the past few years. “If I’d ever revealed that I’d prefer to shack up with someone like Lenny the Lion or Bobby Bluenose then it could have caused a riot in the dressing room.”
He added that if he’d come out earlier as a professional football mascot it would have been difficult for his homosexuality to have been taken seriously both on the terraces and in the dressing room. “Chasing managers and linesmen around the dug-outs would have taken on a darker meaning and wrestling other mascots to the ground would’ve been a total taboo.”
Mr Sprinkle revealed that it had been a tough journey with a few close shaves. “A few of my more camp waves have been returned with one finger salutes and there was an ugly incident once when I was once dressed as a bear and asked a Premiership player to sit on my lap and pose for a picture. The guy later issued a statement emphasising his full heterosexual credentials.”
Mr Sprinkle hopes that other professional mascots might follow suit to help stamp out homophobia in football mascoting and already messages of support have come flooding in via Twitter, such as:
“I’ve always admired what Mr Sprinkle did on the pitch – brave move!” – Donny the Dog
“Respect for Mr Sprinkle! I wish I’d come out years ago” – World Cup Willie