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After receiving horrific homophobic abuse, Hector Bellerin decided to delete his Twitter while also saying it would be impossible for a gay player to come out.
The Arsenal full-back endured a tough start to the 2018/19 Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats to Manchester City then Chelsea.
As a result, the Spaniard was subject to criticism including homophobic abuse on social media.
He's opened up about the topic in a revealing interview.
"It is impossible that anybody could be openly gay in football," he told The Times.
Bellerin added: "Some fans are not ready. When it happened in rugby with the Welsh player [Gareth Thomas], people respected the situation. The fans respected his decision. In football, the culture is different. It can be very personal, very nasty, particularly for players from the opposition team.
"People have called me 'lesbian' for growing my hair. There are other kinds of homophobic insults.
"I have learnt to grow a thick skin, but it can affect you. Every now and again, you get a bit of self-doubt."
Bellerin has since returned to social media and has shared his insightful interview online.
He posted the following Tweet: "I sat down with @matthewsyed to talk about the importance for athletes to embrace being different, inspiring kids and using our profiles to raise awareness for causes."
I sat down with @matthewsyed to talk about the importance for athletes to embrace being different, inspiring kids and using our profiles to raise awareness for causes. https://t.co/M2N9Db2CDW
- Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) September 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Arsenal resume their Premier League campaign following the international break next weekend whey they travel to Newcastle United.
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