Football

Tom Daley: Football players should not fear 'coming out' as gay

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Tom Daley believes professional football players should not fear 'coming out', and that they would be surprised by the support they receive.

The Team GB diver is one of only a handful of male athletes to openly admit he's gay, initially telling the world he was bisexual in a video posted on YouTube.

Out-of-pool relationship

Five months later, he confirmed his sexuality and a relationship with Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, and on stage he discussed his decision openly.

When questioned on whether footballers specifically should fear coming out and if there was a problem with homophobia in the game, Daley admitted he wasn't a big fan of the game, but gave his full support to anyone who was thinking about making the decision.

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"I think players would be surprised by how supported they would be if they came out in a football environment," he said at the Leaders in Sport conference at Stamford Bridge.

"You should be able to live your life the way you want to live it. It shouldn't matter."

Responding to an earlier question, Daley had also said: "It shouldn't matter - I mean you don't make a YouTube video to announce that you are straight."

YouTube video

Looking back on his own initial decision to make a YouTube video revealing his sexuality, Daley admitted that it wasn't easy, and that he made three different versions of it before uploading on the website.

He eventually went for the first, and revealed that whilst it was 'scary' to push the button on the video, the level of support he received was 'overwhelming'. It's also not had an impact on his commercial dealings away from the diving pool.

"It was scary but the reception to it has been overwhelming. I used the first take - it was the most natural," he added.

Personal decision

"Has it affected me in a commercial sense? No, everyone has been so supportive.

"It wasn't a business decision, but we spoke to all our sponsorship partners before."

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