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Now That Gareth Thomas Is Out, Will The Tabloids Start Gossiping About His Sex Life?

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Now that Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas is saying it loud, saying it proud, it’s time to speculate on the aftermath of his coming out! Will the tabloid press in the UK — which loves itself some athletic scandals (but not as much as those Aussies) — go after Thomas like any other sportsman who shags his way through his career? Or Is Thomas still off-limits, forcing the press to put on kid-gloves?

We ask not out of prurient interest (okay, maybe a little) but out of general curiosity as to whether Thomas’s sex life is now fair game and open to gossip reports. Not only do you have to ask whether editors at papers like The Sun will go after him, but whether their readers will even want to know the dirt. This is gay sex, after all. Ewwsville!

Sportswriter Gary Andrews sheds some light on the context of Thomas’ coming out:

For non-rugby fans unfamiliar with Thomas, a bit of context: The Bridgend-born fullback, known a Alfie, has been one of Wales’ most iconic players of the last decade. He captained Wales to a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2005, won 100 caps for his country, and scored 41 international tries, including one for the British & Irish Lions. When Brian O’Driscoll was injured on the Lions tour of New Zealand in 2005, Thomas assumed the captaincy.

Alfie, then, is one of the great players in the modern game, a leader on the pitch capable of rallying his team when under pressure. If you’re looking for a comparative player in football, John Terry immediately springs to mind.

That 35-year-old Thomas has achieved so much in his career and is gay is completely irrelevant. His sexuality has nothing to do with his performances on the pitch. It would, or rather should, be easy to say this whole issue is something of a non-story and there is little point in adding to the column inches.

Yet, it is also worth discussing because it says so much about modern sport, especially the ultra-macho environments of rugby and, yes, football.

Thomas kept his sexuality under wraps so nearly 20 years because he was afraid of the effect it may have had on his career. He was terrified as to what his team mates would think and contemplated suicide. That says plenty about the attitudes, still, of modern sport.

Yet if you look on comments given in the press and comments on articles online, the reaction has been unanimously positive. Rugby fans do not care about Thomas’ sexuality, but applaud him for coming out.

We now know the real reason he split with his wife. But what has he been doing, in the bedroom, since their separation?

When former NBA player John Amaechi, who knows a thing or two about coming out, says Thomas can expect a tough time after coming out, part of that transition will be navigating the press. And we’re as interested to see whether sports gossips will go after Thomas’s private life as eagerly as hetero stars, and whether audiences will even want to know the details.

Thus far in the U.S., out athletes, and other celebs, are generally treated less viciously by the entertainment press. Lance Bass is photographed with “friends”; we’ve yet to hear anything about Amaechi’s sex life; and Clay Aiken is all but neutered. Adam Lambert is the only one near breaking through the glass ceiling of a gay American celeb whose romantic life gets press treatment.

But given Thomas’s huge quads and hard pecs, well, we can’t say we’d be upset knowing some intimate details.

By:           editor editor
On:           Dec 22, 2009
Tagged: , , ,

  • 19 Comments
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      Theres a nude butt shot of him here. You have to admit he’s hotter than hell

      http://back2stonewall.blogspot.com/?zx=8ced4beb68727b33

      The guy is smokin hot!

      Dec 22, 2009 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"
      Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

      NO TO DISCRIMINATION; NO TO HOMOPHOBIA! Gareth’s as good as: Brad Pitt, Derek Jeter, so no holds back. Every sordid detail of Gareth’s sex life should be published along with nude pictures!

      (Okay, just kidding, but it would be fun reading.)

      Dec 22, 2009 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ask ena
      ask ena

      Holy CRAP!! (that butt shot is insane!)

      Dec 22, 2009 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      I’sn’t it.

      *WOOF – Pant – Pant – Drool – Drool – WOOF*

      I am now officially a Rugby fan!

      Dec 22, 2009 at 10:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexa
      Alexa

      “Clay Aiken is all but neutered” – what the hell does that even mean? Just because you don’t think he’s fuckable doesn’t mean other men feel the same way, or that he’s not having sex on a regular basis.

      If you read what I wrote in the first thread about this yesterday, my ex is still jumping for joy over it. She called me up twice (from England) about it. It’s a really big deal, not just because he’s a huge sports star, but because people think it may encourage other sports stars to come out.

      Dec 22, 2009 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B Damion
      B Damion

      I’m not happy for this man at all. Ya great he came out. But how many people has he hurt in the process. No one ever talks about the people he has hurt all along the way. These men that get married have kids n then wanna come out of the closet..when they decide that now it’s boring to be str8..lol..have hurt other people. He’s a fraud..n i personally think that he will still want some pussycat.

      Dec 22, 2009 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tavdy79
      tavdy79

      @ Ryan, google Sean & Rory Lamont, and you’ll go from fan to fanatic. Just make sure you have safesearch off ;-)

      Dec 22, 2009 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FakeName
      FakeName

      Wow, what an idiotic take on it! By people he hurt along the way I assume you’re referring to his ex-wife? With whom he remains close friends and who supports him completely, and is in a far better position to comment than some random douche on the Internet? And seriously, boring to be straight? The man struggled for 20 years with his sexuality and contemplated suicide.

      Dec 22, 2009 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"
      Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

      @No.6 B Damon:

      Do you get all that preachy over all divorces? If not for the extensive reach of homophobia and bigotry, perhaps Gareth, like so many before him and many to follow, would have come to peace earlier in their lives.

      Continuing living a life of lies cannot mend a fake marriage; with the truth, the ex-wife now has a chance to fall in love with someone who can truly love her back. For the children, they get to watch, albeit somewhat tardy, the strength it takes to be out and the exposure to a natural part of humanity.

      B Damon, are you straight or stupid?

      Dec 22, 2009 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B Damion
      B Damion

      I’m a gay man. I wasn’t trying to be offensive with my statement. I’m just sharing my feelings on the matter like everyone else.

      Dec 22, 2009 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BradSA
      BradSA

      Yeah, Clay Aiken has been in a long term relationship with a total hunk for the last few years. How boring that he keeps his private life to himself. Now that he’s been out for more than a year and there’s no salacious gossip, he’s neutered? C’mon Queerty. Can’t you do better than slam a guy for that?

      Have you SEEN his boyfriend? He’s 6’2″ and hot enough to do a photo spread on.

      http://i47.tinypic.com/67kwnq.jpg

      Dec 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mk
      mk

      Not only do you have to ask whether editors at papers like The Sun will go after him, but whether their readers will even want to know the dirt.

      If it’s anything like America, the gay media will try to dig up embarrassing sexual dirt on the guy as much as possible and since he is out the mainstream media will pick up some of those stories (especially the reputation damaging ones). The mainstream media can say they got it from a gay gossip source so it shields them from the “you’re attacking a representative of a vulnerable minority, playing into the gay guys are sexually compulsive deviants stereotypes gay haters love to exploit, and damaging this important guy’s ability to be a figure for the political movement” complaints they’d be open to otherwise. The gay media do most of the leg work for gay haters when it comes to gay celebrities whether they are in or out.

      Dec 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BradSA
      BradSA

      “The gay media do most of the leg work for gay haters when it comes to gay celebrities whether they are in or out.”

      i.e Queerty. I couldn’t agree more.

      Dec 22, 2009 at 7:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      The man has a hawt body please put more pics of this manshow up…morning goods anyone?

      Dec 22, 2009 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @ B Damion

      I know you mean well but his wide says she doesn’t want your pity and doesn’t regret anything. HER words.

      http://www.towleroad.com/2009/12/i-still-love-gareth-and-i-will-never-stop-loving-him-says–jemma-in-her-first-interview-since-he-publicly-announced-he-was.html#comments

      Dec 23, 2009 at 7:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @MK

      “If it’s anything like America, the gay media will try to dig up embarrassing sexual dirt on the guy as much as possible and since he is out the mainstream media will pick up some of those stories (especially the reputation damaging ones).”

      Uh, this Britain…and in terms of hot sex stories, their twice as bad as America. Oh, we WILL get the dirt.

      And considering that ass spread, I will get insanely jealous once that dirt comes out.

      Dec 23, 2009 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B Damion
      B Damion

      Thank you John.

      Dec 23, 2009 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @ B Damion

      I meant ‘wife’ not ‘wide’….

      Dec 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve Shawcross
      Steve Shawcross

      The UK has come a long way since the unfortunate John Fashnu, a footballer who came about 20 years ago– ended up hanging himself. That cast a long shadow over men coming out in sport.

      Also I think Welsh men, especially in south Wales, have a reputation for being macho (confer Aberdare tic-tacs!). As Ian “H” Watkins said of his youth in the valleys, if you weren’t married by the age of 21, questions were asked– it’s the ‘done’ thing. It took him a long time to come out, despite it being more ‘obvious’ with him!

      I had always thought it would a be tennis that saw a sportsman coming out, given the sport’s reputation for lesbians.However a rugby player coming doesn’t particularly surprise me, since rubgy fans tend to be less ‘trouble’ than footy fans (although I’m sure there are a few thuggish rugby fans and there are plenty of well-behaved footy fans).

      I always hoped it would be Jonny Wilkinson who’d come out, darn!

      Jan 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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