Former rugby league star Ian Roberts has warned boxer Anthony Mundine of the consequences of the athlete’s recent anti-gay rants during his controversial stint on reality TV series I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
Mundine drew outrage from LGBTIQ and Indigenous advocates when he said same-sex couples were “confusing to society” but backtracked on further comments that capital punishment would “deter the problem” of homosexuality in Australia.
Roberts, the only NRL star to come out as gay, told The Daily Telegraph he couldn’t understand how Mundine, an Indigenous Australian and practising Muslim, could hold such disparaging beliefs about another minority group.
“There are people dealing with their insecurities about this and are sitting in silence and not telling anyone else and then they hear that… they might not have heard anything else on the radio or news that week but they heard that,” he said.
Roberts told the publication he is open to meeting with Mundine in a bid to make him realise that his words can have far-reaching consequences.
“He would have no awareness about how damaging his words would be to kids who are dealing with this,” he said.
“I know ‘Choc’ well enough to say you’re a dickhead and I would say ‘Choc, you’re a dickhead.’
“There a kids in the suburbs killing themselves because of shit like that, because of f—wits like that.”
Ian, who came out in 1995, joined a group of NRL players on the sporting code’s float in Saturday night’s 40th anniversary Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.
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