An Aussie rules football player has come out as gay, arguing gay players in sport does not need to be a big deal.
In a comment piece published in The Age, Rhyian Anderson-Morley has said he has decided to be completely open to the world and fight against homophobia.
The 23-year-old said his decision to come out so openly came after hearing homophobic language spoken in the changing rooms after training, and no one seemed to care.
‘I knew that some people might not like the idea of playing with a gay bloke, and I didn’t want to upset the team atmosphere, especially when I was just trying to learn the ropes,’ Anderson-Morley said.
‘And it makes me ask, should I have walked into this club waving a rainbow flag?
‘Would it have caused as much drama as some people seem to think? Perhaps knowing a gay bloke was at the club would get them to have a look at themselves and what they say.’
Anderson-Morley plays for the Yarraville Seddon Eagles Football Club, a semi-professional team part of the Western Region Football League. He has also made appearances on The Voice Australia, supporting contestant Kat Jade and getting his chest signed by coach Kylie Minogue.
He also follows fellow Aussie rules player Jason Bell, who came out two years ago, and has helped to combat homophobia in the sport.
Homophobia in the AFL has been making headlines in the past few months, such as the controversy of the comments made by The Footy Show co-host Sam Newman.
He responded to footage of gay NFL player Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend by calling the kiss ‘annoyingly gratuitous.’
‘I’m still not sure whether I made the right decision,’ Anderson-Morley adds.
‘But I am sure…the more you talk about it and the bigger deal you make about there being gay football players, the harder it becomes to make that bold move.
He concluded: ‘I don’t know whether footy is ready for an openly gay player. But events like those over recent weeks have helped me at least decide that it’s time I found out.’