Rugby star Keegan Hirst has received an
outpouring of support after coming out gay.
Hirst's announcement made him Britain's
first rugby league star to publicly come out of the closet.
In an interview over the weekend with
the Sunday Mirror, Hirst, a 27-year-old father of two, said
that he told his wife that he's gay a few weeks ago after realizing
that she blamed herself for their recent breakup.
“The support from my teammates and
other rugby league players has really surprised me,” he told the
Mirror. “It's all been positive.”
Among those offering their support was
former Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas, who came out in 2009.
“I have given my support to
@KeeganHirst days ago,” he tweeted. “Today is about him playing
the game that defines who he is. #proud.”
Nigel Wood, chief executive of the
Rugby Football League, congratulated Hirst, the captain of the Batley
Bulldogs, in a statement.
“Our sport prides itself on being
open and accessible to all communities and I'm also tempted to say
that it's not that remarkable,” he wrote.