Roll Model

Il keep it short and sweet but i thought that the news today over on Velonation was worth adding my two-pence worth. Graeme Obree has come out as gay. Given Graemes battles in the past with depression and suicide attempts, its amazing that he has taken the brave step of being true to himself, and I don't doubt that with the making public of this part of his life he is facing upto a huge issue that keeping to himself will have literally eaten away at him and destroyed any chance he ever had of a well mental being. If I look at professional sport, its not hard to work out that homophobia still exists and athletes feel they don't have a choice in being open with their sexuality. The sad tale of professional footballer Justin Fashanu who came out, only to be disowned by his brother and later commit suicide has perhaps acted to only reinforce beliefs that athletes are not expected to be gay. Things are getting better these days with the likes of Gareth Thomas but its still such a hostile environment within sporting society for people to be open about who they are.... and with Graeme taking the brave step to admit this he is, perhaps even without realising, acting as a role-model to people within the sport that sexuality is actually completely irrelevant within our world today (or at least it should be). So Graeme, I salute you on your bravery - you are a legend!


Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! Great piece.

The man's a genius in all that he's given us. Those wonderful record breaking days in the early 1990s on Old Faithful, his clear vision, his ability to think out of the box, his ability to challenge the norm, but above all his character.

Here's to looking forward to seeing many more records being set and exciting ideas too.

I salute you Graeme.


Anonymous said...

Me thinks perhaps there are differences between sports, their athletes and followers. Thomas coming out went well with the rugby union crowd because who they are, and so will Obree's. Football is a completely different crowd, especially when you look at the followers. Could a footballer ever write something as simple, erudite and funny as this:

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Graeme! The guy is a real innovator and a great role-model. So good to see him come out!

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