Robert Hampton

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28th February 2011

All out at 24
Posted by at 1.10pm | Gay | 4 responses

Here’s a good news story to start the week, as England cricketer Steven Davies reveals that he – ahem – bats for the other team:-

The 24-year-old Surrey player said he had decided to make the announcement after months of personal conflict.

In a frank and moving interview with today’s Daily Telegraph, Davies, who started his professional cricketing career with Worcestershire when he was 18, said he could no longer bear to lie about his sexuality.

I like to think that it was James Anderson’s nude photoshoot for Attitude a few months back that helped him along. In fact, I just like to think about James Anderson’s nude photoshoot.

The extended interview with Davies is well worth reading, even for non-cricket fans. It’s a textbook example of the problems faced by someone who is hiding their sexuality. The misery of being in the closet is a situation I can sympathise with.

In dressing rooms, hotel rooms and coffee bars he felt uncomfortable and dreaded being asked even the most innocuous questions about his love life. “Sooner or later, the conversation would come round to whether I had a girlfriend. I was scared of that. I could never be totally relaxed.”

Some will dismiss his announcement as unimportant and irrelevant. Maybe, in an ideal world, it would be. At this moment in time, however, the reality is that gay people in the world of sport face huge barriers which still need much work to break down. So well done to Steven Davies – not just for coming out, but for doing it in the Daily Telegraph of all papers. Retired colonels up and down the country will have been choking on their marmalade at breakfast.