Boss Lambert offers backing after Hitzlsperger announcement
Paul Lambert has thrown his support behind former Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger's decision to come out as gay.
The 31-year-old, who won 52 caps for Germany and also played for West Ham and Everton, made the announcement in newspaper Die Zeit.
He is the most prominent footballer to publicly reveal his homosexuality and said it was "a good time" to do so.
The club supported Der Hammer with a social media statement, commenting: "Everyone who knows Thomas from his time here at Villa has great respect for him, not only as the fine player he was but also as a man.
"His statement is a straightforward statement and, along with our support as a club, we hope that everyone involved in the game extend to him their support as well."
Now boss Lambert has added his backing to the West Brom derby hero of 2002.
In fact, Lambert believes embracing sexuality in football should be no different from other sports, like basketball, diving, rugby and cricket, where John Amaechi, Tom Daley, Gareth Thomas and Steven Davis have come out.
Lambert said: "It's great that Thomas has come out. It's great that he's said it.
"Other sports have done it and football should be no different. It's happened in other sports.
"If you can perform on the pitch, that's all that matters."
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