Leinster rugby player Nick McCarthy has opened up about his sexuality and what it was like to come out to his teammates and why he decided to do it now.
In an interview with Marcus Ó Buachalla, the scrum-half player talked about when he came out to his team “I came out to my teammates in January and I was obviously pretty nervous about doing so, but I’m really happy that I did it.”
He also talks about the struggle he endured in the lead-up to coming out “I struggled with coming out for a while and it was starting to impact me and my happiness so it was the right decision.”
Speaking about how it affected him, the 27-year-old said “It affected me so much that I agonised over my future and contemplated walking away from rugby altogether because I just didn’t think I could come out while playing rugby”
💙 | Scrum-half Nick McCarthy has spoken publicly for the first time about his sexuality.
He now hopes that sharing his experience will be encouraging and provide hope to others. 👏
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) June 20, 2022
He found enormous support in both his rugby coach Leo Cullen and Rugby union coach Stuart Lancaster who “helped and guided (him) over the months that followed so that (he) felt more comfortable to come out to the group.”
Nick McCarthy explains why he felt as though he couldn’t come out while playing rugby saying “I suppose because it’s not really ‘a thing’. It’s not common for a male athlete to come out in sport, never mind professional rugby, and it’s probably something that I didn’t want to believe or accept myself either.”
McCarthy has revealed that his coming out experience has been a positive one “My experience, since coming out though, has been entirely positive. I have realised that anyone who cares about you, just wants you to be happy.”
When he told his teammates that he was gay, he remembers the overwhelming support that they gave him “I just remember the room erupting! They were all delighted for me and it was immediately a weight off my shoulders.”
It takes enormous confidence to come out in the sporting world; that’s why it’s so important when someone takes that step. It can inspire so many and pave the way to making sport more inclusive.
Proud of Nick McCarthy. 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/a8Q6V1zIEh
— Luke Corkery (@lukeacorkery) June 20, 2022
“It’s hard to perform at your best when you are carrying something, anything, and that’s the same for all the lads. For me it was my sexuality, for others it could be stuff at home, or studies or whatever.”
Nick decided to come out publicly despite being a private person because he wants to help others who may have been in the same situation as he was.
“I feel if I can now help others come out in professional sport or in their everyday lives and make being gay more normal and not a thing to be worried about, then that is a positive.”
Nick McCarthy’s coming out story is enormously inspiring and no doubt, a huge inspiration for many many people who are in sport or wish to pursue sport who have yet to come out.
“If one other person, one other kid, keeps playing their sport because they see a Leinster Rugby player has come out and is accepted, that would be a great outcome.”
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