LEINSTER SCRUM-half Nick McCarthy has today publicly spoken about his sexuality for the first time.
McCarthy (27) gave more insight into his decision to come out to his teammates in an interview with leinsterrugby.ie
The Leinster star revealed that he met Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster last November and claimed that he received massive support in doing so despite having thoughts to walk away from rugby.
'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 said
'But I spoke to Leo (Cullen) and Stuart (Lancaster) last November and the support that I got from them straight away was unbelievable. They helped and guided me over the months that followed so that I felt more comfortable to come out to the group.'
He was also asked why he felt he couldn't come out in rugby and said: “When 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.
“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.'
💙 | Scrum-half Nick McCarthy has spoken publicly for the first time about his sexuality. — Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) June 20, 2022
He now hopes that sharing his experience will be encouraging and provide hope to others. 👏
Read more | https://t.co/Mb6Vq6WjEo#LeinsterRugby #FromTheGroundUp pic.twitter.com/2UNpD2itKe
💙 | Scrum-half Nick McCarthy has spoken publicly for the first time about his sexuality.
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) June 20, 2022
Adding further on what's been like since coming out, he said: '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. I’m lucky to have grown up in a loving environment. My parents, my sister, grandparents and wider family, are totally accepting of me and I’m very thankful for their support.'
McCarthy claimed that it was a 'weight off his shoulders when he addressed the full squad.
'I only made a quick announcement. But I just remember the room erupting! They were all delighted for me, and it was immediately a weight off my shoulders.'
'I felt they understood my situation. 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.'
McCarthy's teammates and rival rugby teams offered their support and love to the St Michael's man.
Munster Rugby said: “Life is so much better when you can be yourself.” Well done Nick for your openness and honesty in helping others Proud Pride
And former Leinster player Brian O' Driscoll said: Well, done Nick. No doubt paving the way for many others to also be themselves
The full interview can be read at https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/mccarthy-coming-out-has-been-really-positive/