Jakub Jankto’s coming out video had been watched a million times on Twitter within four hours of being uploaded. On Instagram it received 100,000 likes in the same period. Every organising body, from the Premier League to Fifa, and clubs across the world issued statements of solidarity. Jankto is a Czech international footballer who has played in La Liga and Serie A and is in the peak years of his career. How much of a transformative moment could his story be for LGBTQ+ representation in men’s football?
“No doubt it will inspire people across the game,” says Jon Holmes, the founder of Sports Media LGBT+, an advocacy group building a network of LGBT+ people and allies within sport in the UK. “As we know, it has such a powerful effect on young people in particular. There will be huge fans of the Czech team or of Sparta Prague who will see him and will see themselves in him, their own stories reflected in what he has done.”