Do you think it’s important to hold gay only sporting events such as the Bingham Cup?
Um, I think, I think sport is allot to be done with what goes on off the field as well and I think why um gay only rugby teams or rugby tournaments are important is because you know what, allot them guys are gay and they socialise together and the bond you get from socialise together off the field, when you take in on the field it’s kind of an unbreakable bond so you know what, if there’s 30 guys who like rugby, are all gay and they all bond and socialise together, that makes for one hell of a strong bonded socialising rugby team so you know what in that aspect, yeah it is important to me.
What advice would you give to any young gay rugby player thinking or worrying about coming out?
Um, I think, you know it’s tough to give generic advice when every case is so individual, like say you know what, if you got your parents, if you got your close friends, um, that are OK with it then you have the foundations to be able to be yourself. Umm, the sporting world is a scary world, umm but I tell you what, if you go in there with your eyes open and you go in there being yourself, then there’s no other better world or no other better profession to have.
How do you feel about how the media approaches gay sportsmen and women?
Um, I think sometimes the media witch hunt, I think they look for it because, you know, you say stories about things that people sometimes shouldn’t really know about are always big stories so they search that, umm, but also I do think sometimes you know what we do live in a world where, I think it has to be positive if it’s in the press because I think there is so much understanding and so much support to help people and for people to want other people to be able to be themselves, that you know I think that, for me the media, would almost have to be positive towards it and put on a positive slant towards it and from my own experiences, you know what, media wise, they did myself and other people a great service because my article was positive, and my story after, whenever it was printed was positive, so for me when I look at people who live kind of out of the back streets or don’t know of any other gay people or any other gay stories, for me they have a big role to play, because if they make positive stories after it and make the story look like it is, then it gives them strength, because they look at a story and they think, do you know what? If he can do it, and this is his story after and I’m following it, then it empowers other people as well.
Do you think the sporting world in general is becoming more open or are there still barriers, massive barriers and discrimination out there?
I think the sporting world, as in sports players and the active participants are fine um, but I do think that the terraces, the stands, um and the places that players don’t end up but the fans do, then, I think they are the places that need to change, um, because they are the places that, you know for reasons outside of sport that go on can make somebody’s life acceptable or unacceptable and they have a big role to play so I think them and the people that run sport, umm run sport in the FA or the basketball , or swimming, anything like that, then if they make environments when it’s possibly uncomfortable for the athletes to grow and not to kind of go into his shell i.e. you know sorting out the fans, sorting out the terraces, the sporting world would be a better place and also you know what, you’ll get a bigger pool of talent because right now allot of kids are fearful of going into sport so allot of gay kids who are probably extremely talented decided not to go into sport because they don’t want to go into a life of where they have to lie or a life where they have to fear abuse every week.
Would you like to see other sporting events set up specifically for the LGBT community apart from the Bingham Cup?
You know what, I think there are events , um and it think it’s great that, you know what, um, the gay community can have events where, um, where they can kind of strive for and train, but also do you know what, is that they, you know for me to be accepted, in the straight, the straight game if you want to call it, of rugby, I think it would be wrong of me to say that I don’t think also, whether the Bingham Cup or whatever, I don’t think the category should be, you should have to be gay, if you’re accepting of gay people , umm then I think that really is the only qualification that you need to be in it, because if that was the case, if we flipped the coin, if that was the case, then you know what, I would have had to leave the rugby team I was in, but they accepted me, so I think, you know what as a gay community, you know when I speak to the Kings Cross Steelers there’s straight guys who play in that team , so you know what, if they’re accepting, then, you know what sport is a game for everybody.
How competitive do you think the Bingham Cup will be?
Um, well I do know a bit about it, and I’ve visited a few of the teams that are going and I’m sure it will be competitive because every team that I have been to it’s kind of the pinnacle of their season, um so allot of players are talking about it, allot of players are looking forward to it, allot of players are training hard for it, so, you know I know they got the Sydney team which is really good, then you got the London boys, the Steelers which are decent, the Gotham, New York Gotham, I’ve been out to meet them, then you got the FOG in San Francisco, I’ve been out to meet them.
Who’s the best gay rugby team in the world at the moment do you think?
Um, do I think, I think it’s Sydney, I think they won, they’re always there or there abouts, um, but I think it’ll be great you know what with it being in Manchester and you got the Manchester team or the London team, it’ll be um, it’ll be great to see like one of them progress and go really far.
How important is it that sponsors and partners such as, you know we support the Bingham Cup, help support events like the Bingham Cup?
It’s massively, I think sponsors van gain so much from it, I think because we are you know business world as well, we really are living in a world now where inclusion is really important umm for businesses to show that they’re actually making an effort um to include so I think you know, by advertising at tournaments where people are going to be there, people are going to see there, they want to see companies names there, then it’s going to promote their company to a much wider audience