Former Norwich striker Justin Fashanu remains the only openly gay male footballer in British history with Deeney adamant there are many more currently playing the game.
The 31-year-old, who himself is divorced and has two kids, believes now is the time for more athletes to come out as gay, suggesting that not coming out would be a heavy burden to carry around.
“I would go on record saying that there is probably one gay or bi-person in every football team. They’re there, they are 100 per cent there,” Deeney said on BBC’s Grounded with Louis Theroux podcast.
“I think people that are gay or from that community definitely are very worried about having to shoulder the responsibility of being the first. I think once the first comes out, there would be loads.
“If he come out and said it, I genuinely believe you would get in the first week at least 100 people that went ‘me too’. Just because they don’t want to be the face of it.
“I think there is now a bigger platform than ever to be a gay athlete of any nature.
“I also wonder, why people finish football, rugby, whatever the sport it might be, and then go ‘I am gay’…I feel like it must be a real heavy load to carry throughout all your whole sporting career.”
In 2019, Australian footballer Andy Brennan announced he was gay having previously played in the A-League for Newcastle Jets.
The announcement was one of relief for Brennan, who declared he could now focus fully on playing football without having to hide his sexuality.
“Six months ago I thought about it a lot, tried to hide it and push it aside because of the way I thought it would be perceived by many,” Brennan told the Herald Sun.