Gareth Thomas, one of only a few
professional athletes to come out gay during their careers, has
retired from rugby, the UK's Daily Mail reported.
“We can confirm that Gareth Thomas is
officially retiring from both international and club rugby with
immediate effect,” Emanuele Palladino, a rep from Thomas'
management company, said in a statement. “This marks the end of
what has been a remarkable career for a remarkable person.”
The Welshman played rugby league for
the Crusaders in Europe's Super League and previously played rugby
union for the Cardiff Blues and Wales.
“If you can't give 100 percent to
rugby then you can't do it justice,” the 37-year-old Thomas told
the paper. “This is a sad day but I know that my time has come to
an end as a player.”
“My passion for the amazing game will
never end or leave me, however,” he added.
Thomas came out gay nearly two years
ago and over the summer he told the Mirror that he had made
the right decision.
“It's been the best few years of my
life since I came out,” Thomas said with a smile. “Coming out
gave me a sense of relief and pride to be able to walk down the
street. The curb used to be my best friend when I wasn't out. I
would be ashamed and walk with my head down. I didn't want people to
see me or to be recognized.”
“Now I'm walking with pride. If
people recognize me now they maybe recognize me as a rugby player or
an inspiring proud gay man. I'm proud to be recognized for who I
It Gets Better video, Gareth Thomas confides he considered suicide.)