Rugby star Stuart Reardon, the recent cover boy of Gay Times Magazine, called the anti-LGBT laws in Russia “disgusting,” but does not support the Olympics boycott, as it would negatively impact the athletes.
“What’s happened over there is disgusting. But if you’ve been training for the last four years and you’re in a position where you could win a medal, you’re going to want to compete aren’t you?” Reardon said in the interview with Gay Times Magazine. “If I was a gay athlete I think it would send a stronger message to go. Being in the public eye, you have a wider opportunity to voice your opinion to a wider audience and send a positive message. That would make more of an impact than boycotting.”
While stating that he’s not gay, he hopes closeted athletes do not fear coming out.
“I don’t know why a gay player wouldn’t come out because it’s not a big deal anymore,” Reardon continued. “Society has changed and it would be accepted. I know it’s each person’s personal choice but rugby has taken big steps in being accepting of homosexuality. Gareth Thomas definitely helped things. Rugby is a working-class game and its players are down to earth—they’re all easy to get along with and want to help people out. They are very supportive to any sexuality.”
He’s gained a large gay following, which Reardon is fine with.
“It seemed to get some gay guys’ attention… I don’t know what they like about me, I have a pretty good personality and I take care of my body… but it’s nice to be liked,” Reardon admitted. “I don’t base my friendships [with]a person because of their sexuality but if our personalities connect and we have mutual interests. And Gay Times is a really big magazine, why wouldn’t a sportsman want to be in it?”