Irish Rugby Union player Nick McCarthy comes out as gay

Irish Rugby Union player Nick McCarthy comes out as gay
Nick McCarthy on the pitch
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The 27-year-old rugby professional Nick McCarthy, who plays scrum-half for Irish club Leinster, has come out publicly saying: “I’m really happy that I did it.”


Nick reportedly told his team mates back in January but spoke candidly about why he did it: “I struggled with coming out for a while and it was starting to impact on me and my happiness so it was the right decision. 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.”


He went on to say that he was inspired by the likes of Josh Cavallo, Carl Nassib and his fellow team mate Jack Dunne, who is bisexual, continuing: “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. I needed to accept being gay myself before I could address it with others. I have great friends in rugby but I didn’t know how they would take it. My experience, since coming out though has been entirely positive,”


Reactions from his club have been incredibly supportive, as has those from the world of sport and journalism:


Johnny Sexton, the captain of the Leinster and Irish teams, said he was proud of McCarthy and that he would become a role model for other players, saying: “I’ve known Nick since his time in the academy so to hear him talk to us so openly about his struggles has been tough but we are now just delighted for Nick and that he can be himself.  We talk about looking after our brothers a lot in here and the last few months has been about that, looking out for Nick. And that will continue. By speaking openly about his sexuality, Nick will be a role model for others and we couldn’t be prouder of him.”


See Johnny speaking about his teammate below. Congratulations to Nick for joining an ever larger group of LGBTQ+ players living their truths. Things seem to be moving in the WRONG direction when it comes to trans inclusivity in elite sport but it is changing by the day, it seems.


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