Rugby star Gareth Thomas: ‘I want a black-and-white law so people can deal with homophobia’

06 July 2018 01:28
Coming out in 2009 was a hugely painful experience for Thomas. Now, he has a radical plan to help tomorrow’s gay sports stars avoid what he had to go throughIn 2009, a few months after the former Welsh rugby captain had come out as gay, a couple of hundred people joined in a homophobic chant at the match he was playing for the Crusaders at Castleford. “It didn’t make me angry, it just made me really sad – and that’s a horrible emotion,” he says. “I can deal with anger. I can release my anger in the game and use it to motivate me. But when something makes you sad … I remember thinking to myself: ‘Why have I gone through all this serious amount of pain … to be standing here, the subject of abuse. Was it worth it?’” It was the worst abuse he experienced on the pitch, but his team-mates supported him and Castleford was fined £40,000.Thomas retired from rugby in 2011 after a glittering career. He has 100 rugby union caps for Wales (and four from when he switched to playing rugby league) and captained the British and Irish Lions team. He had also become a rare thing: a high-profile, current figure playing in a team sport who had come out.The rugby environment, the changing room, was so different. I started in an amateur era where ‘men were men’ Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian