This Mornings Philip Schofield envies eloquence of footballer who came out at 17

Phillip Schofield has praised Jake Daniels for his bravery after the teen came out as gay yesterday, saying he envied the pro footballer's eloquence at such a young age.

After watching a clip in which Jake talked about his experience, This Morning presenter Phil said the young Blackpool player was “amazing”.

He added: “I wish I was that eloquent at 17.” Phil came out as gay in 2020, at the age of 57.

The star admitted at the time that he knew he was gay when he got married in 1993, but suppressed his sexuality for many years. He said of his decision to come out: “I realised I had to be honest with myself.”

Speaking to two guests on today’s This Morning on ITV, Holly and Phil discussed the “toxic environment” in the football industry which can sometimes lead players to feel uncomfortable expressing their sexuality.

Phil said: “What’s important now, and this may be very naive, is that I think he will have an amazing amount of support, help and care within his own community – you’re seeing tweets from other footballers, amazing.

“But I think it’s time to say, look at your sport, look at the beauty of your sport and your players supporting them, maybe this is the time to say right, let’s not go for him on the pitch.”

Back when Phil came out in 2020, he told The Sun on Sunday: “I admit I was perhaps a bit naive. But when we got married it was a joyous time and it wasn’t a consideration in my head. I was so, so happy when we had the girls, and then bringing them up.”

He said his decision to come out was “the most painfully emotional time” in his 27-year-long marriage. He and his now ex-wife share two girls, Molly and Ruby.

He added: "I am not saying I didn't know. Whatever was 'there' I thought, 'Ok, whatever this is, you stay back because I am happy'. If you ask anyone who is gay, they know – there is no confusion."

Phil and Holly hosted two guests on this morning's show to discuss a number of different pieces of news. Another subject that came up was Victoria Beckham's recent comments about body image.

Holly said: “She’s described the desire to be very thin as an old fashioned attitude, saying women now want to be curvy. Is there a shift now?” As Phil replied: “Says the incredibly thin Victoria Beckham.”

This Morning is on every weekday at 10am on ITV and ITV Hub.

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