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See the news John Fashanu opens up on the regret of his brother Justin's death from Source Daily Mail on 17/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.

John Fashanu opens up on the regret of his brother Justin's death

Published: 22:42 GMT, 16 March 2019 | Updated: 22:44 GMT, 16 March 2019 The year was 1988 and John Fashanu was in his element. The Wimbledon centre forward was in the glitzy Dorchester Hotel, celebrating with his team-mates after their astonishing victory in the FA Cup. The win over Liverpool that day was one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition and the celebrations were in full swing.Justin Fashanu struggles with issues surrounding his sexuality, before committing suicideRELATED ARTICLESShare this articleShareBut then things turned ugly.Fashanu went to the bathroom, where a group of players were laughing and joking about the fact that his brother Justin was gay. John says: 'At that time, anybody saying my brother was gay was reason to fight them. Now you wouldn't think twice about it. But then it was an insult to my family name. One of my brothers was gay. Are you mad?'Ten years later Justin, the first £1million black footballer — and first openly gay professional — killed himself, a victim of racism and homophobia. He hanged himself in a deserted garage after being wrongly accused of sexual assault.'It was a horrible day,' adds John, who was a year younger than his brother. 'While Justin wrestled with a number of personal demons in his life, it is clear that issues around his sexuality were at the heart of his problems.Fashanu was the first £1million black footballer, and the first player to come out as openly gay'There is no question that the prejudice he encountered in his professional life as a top-flight footballer for club and country blighted his career and led eventually to his death. It is a sad reflection of the continuing issues that surround professional football that, 20 years after Justin's death, there is not a single openly gay footballer in the Premier League.'This is a situation that defies logic and underlines the fact that, 20 years after Justin's death, it is still not considered advisable to be openly gay.'John now regrets that he was part of the culture that condemned his brother to death. And, in a total volte-face, he now is urging other gay players to 'come out' and change the face of the sport.He and his oldest daughter Amal, a 29-year-old TV presenter and bag designer, are launching a foundation on April 1 in an attempt to stamp out homophobia in football and increase the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender players (LGBT) in the sport.Backed by the Professional Footballers Association and FIFA, the Justin Fashanu Foundation will collaborate with the professional bodies in organising fundraisers and raising sponsorship in a bid to eliminate prejudice in the sport.While John will be the figurehead of the organisation, Amal is planning to organise workshops in schools and clubs at grassroots level to educate our future footballers about the negative effect of homophobia in sport.'Our mission is to confront discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in football at all levels and empower them to participate without regard to their sexuality,' says John. 'We want to ensure that professional footballers can be open about their sexuality without the fear of public disapproval or professional disadvantage.'Thirty years ago, when I was at my peak playing football, the climate wasn't conducive for anybody to come out. It wasn't conducive for anyone to say they were bisexual, homosexual, LGBT.John (left) expresses regret at how he dealt with his brother when he came out as gay'But times have changed. The reaction has been overwhelming. It has been amazing. It's almost like people are saying now: "Please come out. Have a free spirit. Have a free will. Be who you are". There are a lot of people we hope to inspire to be free to come out and nobody will persecute them as I did with my brother many years ago.'Fashanu, 56, readily admits that he acted like a 'monster' towards his brother after discovering he was homosexual in 1990. Initially, he did not believe the gossip that Justin was gay but, after his brother confirmed the rumours, he paid him £75,000 to keep quiet.Later, when Justin came out in The Sun under the headline '£1million Football Star: I am Gay,' he felt betrayed. Eight days later, he hit back, doing an interview with The Voice, saying: 'My Gay Brother is an Outcast'.'Initially I didn't believe him,' says Fashanu, who now runs a Sports Academy in Nigeria. 'When I confronted him and he said he was gay, I just thought he was doing it for attention. 'Of course you're gay,' I thought. 'Stop showing off. You're trying to take my glory. You're not going to do it. I'm the No1 footballer, I've taken your position, I'm now in the Premiership and playing for England. You're now smoking out, having injuries and you just want to take my platform'. That was what I was thinking. So I said: 'Here, I'm going to give you £75,000 on the condition that you stop telling everybody you're gay because no one cares'.'I then put him in a beautiful hotel in central London and asked my then manager to keep him there for a few weeks to calm him down. Little did I realise that he was gay too and sympathised with Justin. They colluded together and came up with the front-page story in the Sun.'I was livid. I thought he was a scam artist, taking money from me and taking money from the newspaper. I couldn't understand then — although I can now — why he thought it was necessary to tell all and sundry that he was a homosexual. After all, I'm a heterosexual but I don't go around singing that I'm a heterosexual.'Now I see the frustration and confusion he must have been going through. He must have just wanted to bare his soul. But homophobia was the rage then. You couldn't even say the word homosexuality 30 years ago....

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See the news John Fashanu opens up on the regret of his brother Justin's death from Source Daily Mail on 17/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.