Jack Vidgen has claimed he knows of “about 10 or 12” male professional footballers who are gay in a candid conversation on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
The 23-year-old singer discussed homosexuality and sport with former AFL stars Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico and Travis Varcoe on Sunday night’s episode.
However Vidgen said those players would sadly most likely not come out publicly, as it was too “daunting” for them to predict the reaction.
“I probably know about 10 or 12 footy players that are gay – I’d never say their name – but they wouldn’t come out,” he said.
“It would be a really hard thing to go through in that industry.”
In a piece to camera, Vidgen went on, “It’s a very masculine industry and you also have a really high profile.
“So it would be extremely daunting not knowing [what the reaction would be].”
Varcoe, who retired from AFL last year, told Vidgen it was sad that none of Australia’s “700 or so” AFL players had come out as gay.
“We have so much acceptance in our game for everything,” he said.
Jack Vidgen says coming out was one of the ‘most incredible feelings’ of his life
Earlier, Jack Vidgen opened up to Dipper about his own coming out journey after winning Australia’s Got Talent at age 14.
“I kinda always knew that I was attracted to guys,” the 23-year-old said.
“I feel like I probably would have been ready to come out a bit earlier.
“But probably because of everything that happened [on TV] and being known by the public… With so many people knowing who I was, it wasn’t going to be like ‘tell a few friends’ coming out.”
Vidgen said as a teenager he had a relationship with a girlfriend that was “more like a glorified friendship”.
But he said everything changed when he started dating another guy at age 19.
“I think that gave me the courage, because we both came out together to our families and friends,” he said.
“I think that helps having someone else to do it with.”
Explaining to Dipper, Vidgen said, “In your head, [being gay] becomes something that’s dirty and disturbed.
“You think something’s perverted when it really isn’t; it’s the absolute opposite. Love is love.”
He described coming out to friends and family as “incredible… one of the most incredible feelings of my life”.
Jack Vidgen won Australia’s Got Talent in 2011 at the age of just 14, before taking a break from the spotlight.
He returned to TV in May 2019 when he appeared on The Voice Australia. Last year he also appeared before Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent: The Champions.