A former All Blacks player has opened up about being gay and was surprised by the reactions: ‘Not even in my wildest imagination did I think so’

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He’s not the first to do it. He won’t even be the last. Former All Blaks player Campbell Johnstone reveals he is gay In an interview he gave to the program Seven sharps of the New Zealand television channel TVNZ. And the reactions he has received since then never cease to amaze him.

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“If I can be the first All Black to come out and help remove the pressure and stigma around it, I can really help a lot of other people.” declared who came to play 38 Super Rugby games with the Crusaders shirt

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Johnstone, 43, has been a victim of a very macho environment like rugby and has been hiding his truth for many years. Linked to the stereotypes imposed by the sport, he lived a “double life”. Ten years after his retirement, the former pillar has opened up to the world and said what he had kept for so long.

His dream was to play for the All Blacks and he achieved it, playing three games for the most powerful team in the world in 2005, but he paid the price of having to develop in an environment where was never “really comfortable with the whole concept”that is, with everything that surrounded the world of the oval ball.

It is mandated that the rugby player should be “manly, strong, possibly with wife and children”, what led him to “living in a lie” according to himself. “I pushed that side of me deeper and deeper,” he said. And he freed himself from a heavy burden.

A few days later, seeing the repercussions of his recent statements, he was pleasantly surprised: “I thought it was going to reach the public in New Zealand and maybe Australia. Not in my wildest imagination did I think it would be so far-reaching. It’s a true sign of how powerful the All Black and New Zealand brand is around the world,” he reflected.

The support of the All Blacks

Mark Robinson, CEO of New Zealand rugby, she was one of the first people to show her support: “Johnstone’s strength and visibility will pave the way for others. Rugby is a sport that welcomes everyone and a place where people should feel confident about themselves. We want to be clear, it doesn’t matter who you love, rugby has your back.”

The official account of the New Zealand team on Instagram, for its part, also expressed itself in this sense: “Much love and support to All Black #1056 @campbelljonstone.nz for having the courage to share his story and help create a more inclusive game.”says the text of the post.

Crusaders, one of his career clubs, Highlanders and Rugby World Cup 2023 official account also left messages of support for rugby. “Thank you”, “Congratulations”, “Inspirational” and “Respect” are some of the words that appear the most in the more than 200 comments that the publication has.

Source: Clarin

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