UK Rugby star Gareth Thomas has said
other professional athletes have confided to him that they are gay,
UK tabloid The
Daily Star reported.
Thomas, who retired from rugby late
last year, publicly acknowledged he is gay in 2009. The 37-year-old
Welshman's coming out inspired other professional athletes to come
out, including English
cricketer Steven Michael Davies and Swedish footballer (European
“I have had sports stars speak to me
and tell me they are gay but they are not open about it,” Thomas
told the paper. “I was lucky that I had such support from my
family and friends.”
“Anyone who's told me they are gay I
will take their secret to the grave. They must choose their own time
to come out,” he said.
Thomas added it could be years before
the athletes publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation because
homophobia remains entrenched in the sports world.
Thomas was among the 12 housemates who
competed on Channel 5's recently ended reality series Celebrity
Big Brother UK. He came in third.