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Adam Rippon was moved to tears by this complete stranger comforting a gay athlete in a hidden camera show

Nick Duffy July 15, 2020
Adam Rippon was moved to tears during the segment

Adam Rippon was moved to tears during the segment

Hidden camera show What Would You Do? acted out the scenario of an athlete being pressured to stay in the closet – and people’s response moved Adam Rippon to tears.

On Tuesday the proud Olympic figure skater made a guest appearance on the popular ABC show, which uses actors to test the reactions of members of the public to arguments and disputes.

Members of the public stepped in to help a gay athlete on ABC’s What Would You Do?

The show set up a scene of a baseball coach trying to convince his young star player not to reveal his sexuality.

The coach argues: “This could be a career ender for you… don’t you want to go to the big leagues?”

An actor portrayed a gay athlete coming out to his coach
An actor portrayed a gay athlete coming out to his coach

Multiple members of the public intervene – with one woman attempting to give guidance to the coach when the teen heads to the bathroom. She tells him: “He’s right in the bathroom now freaking out because he wanted you to accept him more.”

When the coach says that coming out is “career suicide,” she responds: “I know it’s hard, but don’t say that to him… these kids nowadays have so much pressure, and they want to kill themselves.”

Later comforting the teenage player, the same woman says: “Just give him time. Things are different now in this world, and he just doesn’t realise it.

One member of the public stepped in to give guidance to both the coach and the player
One member of the public stepped in to give guidance to both the coach and the player

“He’s old school and he feels like no one has done that yet, but maybe you could be the first.”

As the woman comforted the player, Rippon – who was watching via hidden cameras – was moved to tears. He said: “That’s so cool to see. She didn’t need to say anything, and she was just so kind to the both of them.”

When the ruse is revealed, Rippon heads out for an emotional hug with the woman. He tells her: “I just have to say, you were saying ‘the world is changing’, but it’s people like you who are changing it. I get emotional talking about it. [I wish there were more people] who, like, wear a high ponytail to breakfast every Wednesday!”

Adam Rippon was overcome with emotion
Adam Rippon was overcome with emotion

Running the scenario on other occasions, a stream of diners do their best to console the athlete.

One diner told him: “I’m proud of you for having the courage to speak up for who you are and what matters to you. And I believe that your career is still yours.”

The scenario could not be more relevant as gay sports professions continue to speak about the pressures they face to stay in the closet.

Adam Rippon got very emotional during the hidden camera segment.

While Rippon may be out-and-proud now, he revealed that staying in the closet to help his career “was something that I talked about with my friends and family”/

He said: “Nobody really had a clear answer. But when I was out, I just felt strong, like I knew who I was.”

“I remember being that young kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, who thought this would be a secret forever. I thought, I owe it to that kid to say something.

“I hope that there’s a time that people don’t need to come out, but I think it’s important because representation matters, and I think when people can see a little bit of themselves in someone, it gives them the permission to be as authentic as possible.”

More: adam rippon, coming out, Gay, homophobia in sport, what would you do

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