The point is it shouldn’t have to be a publicity stunt; the aim is to get to a point where you can have openly gay players who are judged solely on their playing ability and not their sexuality. It’s inevitable that the careers of the first few to come out will be overshadowed by their ‘shocking revelation’, but as more and more feel it’s ok to do so, it will become commonplace enough that people won’t care anymore.
And yeah, considering how massively widespread and influential the world of football is, of course there need to be role models for “the kids”. Sure, it’s a private matter and a personal decision, but you’re making out like all the gay players are known about and accepted within their teams, “in the locker room”; this is undoubtedly not the case. Yes there are people who just don’t feel the need to share any of their private life and feel comfortable keeping different parts of their life completely separate but I can guarantee that is not representative of all gay football players; there is going to be a proportion (I’d wager quite a significant one) who would like to come out, but can’t for the sake of career security.