05 December 2012
Joey Barton threatens Daily Mail with libel action
Joey Barton is set to take legal action on the grounds of libel against the Daily Mail following the publication of an article by the media outlet today (December 5th).
In a piece entitled 'Gay hero? Surely there's only one man to herald football's watershed moment ... step forward Joey Barton', columnist Martin Samuel noted the professional footballer could benefit by announcing he is homosexual.
Mr Samuel wrote that football needs its own "gay watershed moment" like other sports such as rugby and cricket, where international players Gareth Thomas and Steven Davies have come out in recent years.
The columnist stated that football continues to be seen as "not evolved enough to handle male homosexuality", even though Hope Powell, manager of the England women's team, is openly gay and cites the fact that Stonewall has urged the sport to "tackle its culture of fear".
With this in mind, Mr Samuel went on to note that Barton could come out as gay as part of his "quest for intellectual and social respectability", as doing so would give him "instant credibility [and] instant respect".
The journalist then stated that Barton would be able to entertain his 1.8 million followers on Twitter with plenty of "new material" from the likes of "Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde [and] Lady Bunny".
However, the footballer - who is currently on loan at French club Olympique Marseille from Queen's Park Rangers - has this afternoon taken to his account on the social media site to express his dissatisfaction with the piece.
"Can he say what he's said? Sounds slightly bigoted and homophobic to me," he wrote.
"My sexuality is of no concern to anyone except me and my family ... nor, would I like my child (when old enough) to read this tripe," the 30-year-old added.
With this in mind, the midfielder - who has won one cap for England - said he "will probably have to sue" due to the "shocking" nature of the article.
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Posted by Chris Stevenson