A former player for the All Blacks of New Zealand rugby has publicly declared his homos*xuality. Campbell Johnson, All Blacks jersey number 1056, came out as gay during an interview on New Zealand’s TVNZ’s Seven Sharp earlier today. He admitted to “living a lie” and “running a double life” while playing for the All Blacks. He came out to host Hilary Barry, saying he was doing so to support fellow gay athletes who were “struggling in the closet.”
“If I can be the first All Black that comes out as gay and takes away the pressure and stigma surrounding the issue it can actually help other people,” the 43-year-old said on Monday. “Then the public will know that there is one in amongst the All Blacks and it could be one of the final pieces in the puzzle sports-wise that gives everyone closure.”
Johnstone claimed that he never felt fully at ease with his s*xual identity and how it interacted with his lifetime ambition to play for the All Blacks, which is why he never came out publicly during his playing days.
“My view of an All Black was manly, strong, possibly with a wife and kids,” he said. In addition, he had his own private motives. “The private part of me wanted to keep that private.”
Johnstone said that he came out to his family, close friends, and several teammates “a long time ago,” despite the fact that he stayed in the closet publicly. The event itself was quite ordinary.
We’ve recently broken the news about the s*xual orientation of some other celebrities; if you’re interested in learning more about them, you can follow the links below-
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- George Takei Came Out as Gay Due to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Gay Marriage Bill Rejection
“It was pretty much like telling them I just ran out of milk, one of them was like ‘yeah it’s about time,’” he recalled of the experience, adding with a laugh that “there was no big party or anything.”
Responses to Johnstone’s declaration on social media were mostly positive. His old squad showed him “much love” after he left.
“Much love and support for All Black #1056 Campbell Johnstone for having the courage to share his story and helping create a more inclusive game,” the team’s official Twitter account posted.
The New Zealand Rugby Union also made a big deal about the news. In a statement posted on Twitter, the group’s CEO, Mark Robinson said, “On behalf of the New Zealand rugby community and as a former teammate, I want to acknowledge and support Campbell for sharing his authentic story. Your strength and visibility will pave the way for others in our game.”
New Zealand Rugby made a statement in a tweet, which is mentioned below:
Arohanui Campbell Johnstone All Black #1056 – your strength and visibility will pave the way for others in sport here in Aotearoa and around the world 🖤🏉🌈 pic.twitter.com/LcEQsp2e1y
— New Zealand Rugby (@NZRugby) January 30, 2023
He added, “We know that there are people who have not always been comfortable to be who they are in rugby. We want to be clear, no matter who you love, rugby has your back.”
As New Zealand’s official rugby team, the All Blacks compete at the highest international level. Having won the Rugby World Cup a record-tying three times, they are widely considered to be among the sport’s most dominant teams ever. The squad wears all-black clothes with a white fern on the front, and before every game, they do the haka, a traditional Mori challenge dance.
A cap refers to a game between two senior national teams that are competing in an international competition. The first time a player represents his or her country in a test match, they get a national team cap. On an enormous oval grass field, using a ball resembling a jumbo American football, two teams of 15 players battle it out.
Only backward passes are allowed; forward passes result in a loss of possession. A goal is scored when a player carries the ball across the goal line and touches the ground, or when the ball is kicked in one of several ways through a stationary goal post.
Scrums are used to restart play in rugby and are hence one of the game’s most recognizable features. In a massive huddle, opposing players push against each other and the ball is entered while they try to use their feet to obtain control of it.
Johnstone, who stood six feet tall and weighed 243 pounds, was a first-line prop in the scrum. His debut test match came in 2005, making him the 1,056th All-Black player. James Allan was the inaugural member of the All Blacks to earn a cap in 1884. After the 2012 season, Johnstone decided to end his athletic career.
Johnstone has stated that he is ready for the attention from the media that this news will bring. He also expressed regret that he had to come out in such a public way.
“I’m somewhat, maybe a little bit sad that we are actually having to do this,” Johnstone said. “But if I open up their door and kind of magically make that closet disappear, then we’re going to help a lot of people.”
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