Cyclist Graeme Obree: “Gay Athletes Should Stay Closeted And Ashamed, Like I Was”

I don’t think being gay and an active sportsman is a good thing. While I was competing and in a changing room environment there was no way I would come out. You’d always be worrying if other people were thinking, ‘Is he checking me out?’ There are SPL [Scottish Premier League] footballers who are gay, I know that for a fact. But if I was in their position there is no way I would come out. It would be too awkward in the dressing room. You need to be retired first. Even now I wouldn’t do coaching because it’s still an awkward situation. Sure, I got a flood of letters from people supporting me. But now people have moved on and don’t give a monkey’s [ass]. They’d rather talk about cycling, which is great.

—Scottish cycling champion Graeme Obree, encouraging other gay athletes to stay closeted. Obree, who is retired, only came out in January 2011.