Saturday the Guardian reported Cardiff Blues player Gareth Thomas officially came out of the closet and is the first professional player to do so while still active. It was a decision based on both emotional turmoil and good will. “It’s been really tough for me, hiding who I really am and I don’t want it to be like that for the next young person who wants to play rugby or some frightened young kid,” he said.
His ex-wife talked about Thomas with the Daily Mail.
I asked Jonn Thurman, the outgoing captain of the Dallas Diablos (our very own gay rugby team), his thoughts and he had this to say.
“Good for him. I was surprised what he went through while he was hiding his sexuality. It is reassuring to see he and his ex have remained friends. Unfortunately, like several others in the sporting world, they feel they have to hide their true selves and become “one of the boys”. Having to hide yourself for fear of retaliation or loss of being able to play a sport that you love is a huge burden to bear and far too common in the world of sports. Thankfully with the increasing numbers of prominently gay, but inclusive clubs, such as the Dallas Diablos and other rugby clubs from all over the world, we can come together and play the sport so many of us have grown to love. If only professional sports clubs can catch up and see the stigma against gay sports players in nothing to fear. Gay or not, we are all ‘just one of the boys.'”