http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2009/12/19/Sports_Legend_Gareth_Thomas_Comes_Out/Gareth Thomas, a British sports legend and international rugby star, has announced that he is gay. The 35-year-old, who retired from internationals after the 2007 World Cup, but still plays for Welsh provincial side Cardiff Blues, also says he doesnt want to be known as a gay rugby player.
"I don't want to be known as a gay rugby player, Thomas says in an interview with British newspaper The Daily Mail. I am a rugby player first and foremost. I am a man. I just happen to be gay. It's irrelevant. What I choose to do when I close the door at home has nothing to do with what I have achieved in rugby."
Thomas married his childhood sweetheart, Jemma, in 2002, but the two were separated in 2006, and their divorce is being finalized.
"I've been through all sorts of emotions with this, tears, anger and absolute despair," Thomas adds. "I wasn't sure if I ever wanted to let people know and, to be honest, I feel anxious about people's reactions and the effect it might have on my family."
He also admits that it had been "really tough" hiding his sexuality, but he hopes coming out would help future generations of rugby players.
Thomas says that his close family and friends have accepted his decision and will continue to support him, but that he has no plans to launch a "crusade" but wants to send a "positive message" to other gay people.
Wow- so it's still this difficult for people in sports to come out in the UK? Too bad, but good for him.