Joey Barton, a footballer probably not as heavily schooled in political correctness as actual politicians, has apologised over his UKIP 'four ugly girls' comment made on Question Time. Talking about UKIP's European election victory he said, 'So if I am somewhere and there were four really ugly girls, I'm thinking, 'Well, she's not the worst', because that is all you are, that is all you are to us.'
The ultimate encouragement for a player to come out, would probably be that there were sufficient other gay peers for it not to be such an issue, or at least enough to be able to offer support. As it stands, that day seems a long way off. If the Premier League is to wait for its own Jason Collins, it may be waiting a very long time.
This season could well prove to be a fascinating crux in players behaving badly. As the stakes in terms of money are raised ever higher, poor disciplined players are going to become greater and greater risks, and with this inevitable stamp down (excuse the pun) on bad challenges, it could be that players turn to Twitter to vent their frustrations rather than seeking out retribution Roy Keane style.