Justin Fashanu not gay after all?

John Fashanu Claims Gay Footballer Brother, Justin, Was Lying About His Sexuality

Sports personality and TV presenter John Fashanu has made headlines this week by claiming that his brother Justin, who was and still is the only openly gay professional footballer  in the UK, lied about being gay for media attention- according to the Press Association.

When speaking to talkSPORT radio station, John Fashanu talked about his relationship with Justin- who played for Norwich City and committed suicide amidst accusations that he was guilty of sexual assault. Justin Fashanu’s revelation that he was gay was made following an alleged affair with a Conservative MP. John told the show:

“I don’t believe he was gay. Number two, I don’t believe he had affairs with MPs…it was just nonsense. Showbiz.”

Earlier this year, John Fashanu’s daughter Amal presented a BBC3 documentary on her uncle and the likelihood of having gay footballers in Britain. In response to this documentary, John Fashanu added:

“My daughter was very close to her uncle and it has taken a long time for her to understand that Justin wasn’t really gay, he just wanted attention.”

He continued:

“”It’s unfortunate because I don’t believe he was, and if he was, who gives a rat’s a**e? So what? But don’t go and sell your stories or make up stories for money for goodness sake. I’m heterosexual, will I make it on to the front page of the newspapers?”

It’s funny how someone who is clearly very passionate about not being desperate in the pursuit of fame is quite willing to reignite a feud with his dead brother – who committed suicide in the most unfortunate circumstances. All the while, he is reversing the endeavours of his daughter to improve the situation for gay sportspeople in the UK.  I question how he could possibly accuse anyone of publicly lying about being gay in 1990 simply to gain a bit of press coverage. Anyone knew back then that it was a near-definite route to becoming a social outcast, as was the case for Justin. It was known to have an altogether contrary result from what John Fashanu is suggesting.  I think Fashanu trips himself up when he questions: “I’m heterosexual, will I make it on to the front page of the newspapers?”. This is the crux of the matter- John’s own selfish fame-seeking.

John Fashanu has done shows such as I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and Celebrity Total Wipeout (to name a few) in order to salvage some celebrity status. If he’s going to throw around hefty accusations of the lengths people will go to for fame, perhaps he should rethink going on a popular radio show to make defamatory remarks about a man who, regardless of sexuality, was tragically outcast and driven to suicide.

Click here to watch Amal Fashanu’s BBC3 documentary Britain’s Gay Footballers on Youtube.

Jamie Fisher

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