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Nick McCarthy Praised For Courageous Decision To Come Out As Gay

Nick McCarthy Praised For Courageous Decision To Come Out As Gay
Luke Delaney
By Luke Delaney
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Leinster scrum-half Nick McCarthy has broke ground by coming out as gay today.

In coming out, the 27-year-old joins a very small number of openly-gay men in professional team sport.

McCarthy sat down with Marcus Ó Buachalla of Leinster Rugby for an interview and said he came out to his teammates in January. He called the experience 'entirely positive'.

"It’s not common for a male athlete to come out in sport, nevermind professional rugby, and it’s probably something that I didn’t want to believe or accept myself either.

"I needed to accept being gay myself before I could address it with others.

"I have great friends in rugby but I didn’t know how they would take it.

"My experience, since coming out though has been entirely positive. I have realised that anyone who cares about you, just wants you to be happy.

McCarthy also spoke about how much he struggled with not being able to discuss his sexuality with his teammates, and that he feared he might have to quit the sport.

"I came out to my teammates in January and I was obviously pretty nervous about doing so, but I’m really happy that I did it.

"I struggled with coming out for a while and it was starting to impact on me and my happiness so it was the right decision.

"It affected me so much that I agonised over my future and contemplated walking away from rugby altogether because I just didn’t think I could come out while playing rugby.

"But, I spoke to Leo (Cullen) and Stuart (Lancaster) last November and the support that I got from them straight away was unbelievable. They helped and guided me over the months that followed so that I felt more comfortable to come out to the group.

Reaction to Nick McCarthy's decision to come out as gay

The news of McCarthy's sexuality has been given plaudits by former players, fans and many more supporting the 27-year-old's decision.





Leinster boss Leo Cullen has also shown his support for his player's decision to come out and has said: "To be at your best, you need to be yourself and we’re happy that Nick can do that now."

"It's great that Nick has shared his news with everyone and we only wish great things for him.

"We're lucky we have a great bunch here. Very caring, they want to do well and they see the joy in each other doing well as well.

"He's definitely had a battle going on their in the back of his mind so I'm sure there's other young people that are going through something similar and Nick will be an amazing role model to other people."

The announcement comes almost a year on from his teammate Jack Dunne coming out as bisexual. It's great to see professional athletes being comfortable and brave enough to discuss their sexuality openly, and it's ultimately a credit to the culture of Leinster Rugby that both men felt comfortable enough to come out.

It is an issue that many people feel exists around men's elite sport, with very few openly gay male athletes in top-level sport. Last month Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels came out as gay and also received plaudits from around the sporting community for his bravery.

With it being Pride Month this June, let's hope players across all sports can take a leaf out of Nick's book and feel confident enough to discuss their sexuality and are comfortable to be themselves.

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