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Fast, moving storytelling: Martin Ainstein interviews Thomas Hitzlsperger, a LGBTQIA+ rights advocate and former soccer star, while cycling

ESPN soccer reporter Ainstein's "The Bicycle Diaries" delivers interesting insights while touring scenic routes in Spain

In 2014, retired soccer star Thomas Hitzlsperger made international headlines when he told a German newspaper he is gay.

Hitzlsperger, who played professionally across Europe from 2001-13 and starred with the German national team, is considered the first prominent German male soccer player to come out.

In a recent episode of his digital series The Bicycle Diaries, Spain-based ESPN soccer reporter Martin Ainstein interviews Hitzlsperger as they ride along routes in Bilbao. In the interview below, Hitzlsperger details how the experience has been for him and how society can improve how LGBTQIA+ athletes are supported.

“[Thomas] confirmed something that we were thinking, and it was that it makes a difference to go public and to share,” Ainstein told Front Row. “His goal right now is to be who he is and continue working in the world of football.”

Ainstein thinks men’s soccer needs a role model such as Hitzlsperger, who now works in Germany as an advocate for diversity in sport.

Ainstein was inspired to tell “a story that fights for equal rights and speaks about something that has called our attention many times, that in male soccer it was not normalized to come out, or to feel free to do it.”

Ainstein discusses the interview and The Bicycle Diaries storytelling, which is preparing for its third season debut in August, in the Front Row video above.

Watch the Hitzlsperger episode below from; visit ESPNFC’s YouTube channel, Hulu, and ESPN+: NFL star Cam Jordan for more Bicycle Diaries.

Ashley Hatstadt produced the video at the top of the post

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