England cricketer Steven Davies’ announcement that he is gay has been met with kindness and support in the cricketing world.
The 24-year-old came out yesterday in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, having already told his teammates and family.
England team coach Andy Flowers helped the player tell his teammates he was gay last year.
Mr Flowers said: “This is something Steve chose to discuss with me and the squad some time ago.
“I would like to make it very clear that Steve is first and foremost a very talented cricketer and a valued member of the England set-up.
“Steve has had and will continue to have the full respect and support of the entire squad and everyone involved in England cricket.
I have no doubt that he will continue to work hard to regain a place in the England squad.”
Mr Davies’ England teammate batsman Ian Bell said that Davies’ announcement had no impact on the team.
“He’s a fantastic cricketer and we’re all with him,” he said. “We support Steve as any of the other lads. He’s a good mate of mine and that doesn’t change absolutely anything.”
The Professional Cricketers’ Association and gay rugby star Gareth Thomas also gave their support to the cricketer.
His coming out was met with admiration from the press, although editorials pointed out that it was unlikely a footballer would come out any time soon.
The only sour note struck came from Australian sports star Jason Akermanis, who said last year that gay team members could “break the fabric” of football clubs.
Speaking to MTR talkback radio host Steve Price this morning, he said: “If you are in a professional men’s sport, why would you bother [coming out]? We don’t care, no-one cares. This guy clearly thinks that someone does.”