Retired bobsledder Simon Dunn thinks that it’s “selfish” for the LGBTQ community to expect athletes to come out of the closet.
Though the Australian became the first gay man to represent his country in the Olympics, he still feels homophobia has the potential stamp out the careers of promising LGBTQ athletes — despite the fact that diver Tom Daley, rugby player Keegan Hirst, and freeskiier Gus Kenworthy managed to come out of the closest quite unscathed.
Talking to the London Evening Standard, the 29-year-old said athletes “shouldn’t feel pressured to come out.”
“Everybody’s coming out is personal and in their own time. It is selfish for our community to expect someone to do it because of their public profile. Given the sporting culture, coming out could seriously affect their career.
I myself was already out when I joined the Australian [bobsleigh] team, but from my own experiences I can understand why someone wouldn’t come out, let alone someone earning and risking millions of pounds.”
I wasn’t exactly welcome within my team growing up. Its not the easiest road to take.
And also growing up I’d learnt to believe gay men have no place in the sporting world and it took me a very long time to dispel those beliefs.”