Football player and TV presenter comes out to his teammates in BBC film
A BBC presenter and football player has come out as gay to his teammates for the first time.
Richie Anderson came out as gay in a film broadcast on the BBC’s One Show this evening.
In the film he discussed issues around being gay in football in general, drawing on his own experience as a Sunday League footballer.
Anderson also met with Paul Elliott from the Football Association (FA) Inclusion Advisory Board.
The pair discussed what is being done in the UK to tackle homophobia in sport.
He also met with a gay manager who manages teams made up of players none of who identify as gay and the members of a gay football team in Birmingham.
Anderson has been out to friends and family for some years but the film showed the first time he came out to his teammates.
He said in the film that he didn’t come out sooner because he was scared of rejection.
“My friends know and my family know, but as soon as I’m on a football pitch, it just feels like a taboo,” says Anderson.
“Why am I and other gay footballers keeping quiet?”
Speaking to his team in the film, Anderson says: “One of the big issues we’ve looked at [in my One Show film, it’s really close to my heart.
“It’s homophobia in football. And the reason why that means a lot to me is that I’m a gay footballer. I just wanted to be open and honest because with you lot, it’s just been class.”
The rainbow laces campaign returned late in 2017 and has been backed by football and rugby stars and clubs.
Players, managers, clubs and officials from football and rugby wore the rainbow laces on Saturday as well as flags being displayed on stadiums and at clubs to make a stand against homophobia in sport.
The campaign is created by Stonewall and was the biggest ever this year with participation from non-league through to the Premier League.