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ChCh rugby club kicked gay player out

Wed 16 Jul 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

File Photo A New Zealander who was kicked out of his Christchurch rugby club for being gay is among those who have shared their stories in a global survey looking at homophobia in sport. Jay Claydon has told the Sydney Morning Herald that he came out to his close friends and family when he was 18, but didn’t feel safe doing so at his rugby club. "At training one night, people were looking at me funny. Somehow they'd found out,” he says. "On the Friday night, I got a call from my coach saying the players had taken a vote at a meeting behind my back and they weren't comfortable having me in the team any more. He said, 'they don't want you to come back'." Now 25, Claydon lives in Australia where he plays rugby for gay team the Sydney Convicts, who are hosting world tournament the Bingham Cup next month. Read his story here Preliminary Australia-only findings from the ongoing Out on the Fields study show 85 per cent of gay athletes have experienced or witnessed homophobic abuse. However there is progress across the Tasman – in April Australia’s five biggest sporting codes united in an unprecedented stand against homophobia, and those behind the initiative urged others around the world to do the same. General Manager of Public Affairs at New Zealand Rugby Nick Brown has responded by stating the body has “zero tolerance” towards any form of discrimination within the game. “We strongly support diversity across rugby and this year have had discussions internally and with a number of other parties to identify opportunities to promote and celebrate diversity within the game,” he says in a statement to Daily News. The team behind Out on the Fields needs more New Zealanders to have their say! We’re lagging behind!      

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 16th July 2014 - 3:46pm

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