By Colin Crummy
Gay lifestyle magazine Attitude has responded to the tabloids’ obsession with gay footballers by putting one of their chief targets on the cover.
Arsenal footballer Freddie Ljungberg appeared in a covershoot for the magazine’s April edition. He said he hoped to see a Premiership footballer come out, but denied he was gay himself.
Attitude editor Adam Mattera said: "We wanted to feature a sportsman and the obvious choice was Freddie because he was so high-profile and there were all those rumours about him. The timing seemed apt considering the debate visà- vis gay footballers and sexuality."
The magazine analyses what it sees as a homophobic tone in tabloid reporting, following The Sun’s outing of Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes and the News of the World stories about a "homosexual orgy" involving Premiership footballers.
On Sun headlines such as "Elton takes David up the aisle", Mattera said: "On the one hand it’s funny, but it’s this form of insidious homophobia which, added to this witchhunt to out footballers, made it time to question why we’re heading into such dangerous territory."