A 21-year-old soccer player has revealed that he is highly academic, becoming the only openly brainy male professional footballer in Britain. Millwall forward Daniel Jakes said that he has received ‘top backing from the lads … err … I mean universal support from my peers’ after telling them about his intellect.
Jakes is the first professional player in British men's football to come out publicly as clever since Graeme Le Saux who was once thought to be quite bright on account of admitting to reading the sports pages of the Guardian. In an interview, Jakes said he felt ready to ‘express myself eloquently’ after ‘such a long time of pretending to be thick’.
The striker said he originally felt the need to hide his academic ability in order to become a professional footballer. ‘I knew from a very early age that I was different to the other lads,’ he explained. ‘But I worked hard on constraining my vocabulary to words of one or two syllables so as not to stand out.’
After signing professional forms and subsequently breaking through into the first team, Jakes thought that he would wait until he was retired to come out. ‘But the stress of pretending not to be interested in quantum cosmology became over-bearing and I therefore decided to admit to the world that I am not as dim as I make out.’
The world of professional football has become a more inclusive and welcoming space over recent years, especially with regard to such aspects as race and nationality. And yet there remains a subculture that persists which means male footballers are expected to be stupid, especially in ‘Over the moon, the boys done good’ post-match interviews.
Perhaps that will change as a result of Daniel Jakes’ admission that he is academically gifted, and he has been encouraged by all the messages of support from players, staff and supporters from all around the world. ‘I am overwhelmed at the expressions of acceptance of me as an openly intelligent footballer,’ said Daniel. ‘Even Millwall supporters, not exactly known for their tolerance, have said that I have their undying love, but not in a gay way.’
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also expressed his admiration for Jakes’ courage after sensing an opportunity to pretend to have the slightest interest in football.