Comedian Joel Creasey has said he believes “the time is right” for a gay AFL player to come out.
In a column for the Herald Sun newspaper, Joel explains that he met and slept with an AFL player.
“We met at a party, we went home. I didn’t even realise he was an AFL player until the next day,” he said.
“But it didn’t surprise me. After hearing his stories, it made me realise how common place it is, being a gay player, within the AFL.
“I’ve only seen him once since. He’s got a girlfriend now.
“I think [a player coming out] would be great for the sport, especially since the AFL does such a great job at promoting tolerance and equality.”
Joel explained that he went to the same high school as high-profile AFL stars Lance “Buddy” Franklin and Ben Cousins.
“We didn’t hang out, but I knew who they were. You couldn’t avoid it. Even then, before they played AFL, you knew they were going to be massive stars,” he said.
“Footy players are always the most popular people at school.
“But I was a captain, too — of the drama club. There was no support for my club, or the arts, at my high school, and I really hated that.
“Now they send out notices about the school’s drama program with my face on it.”
Joel first told the story about the player he met in his 2017 book Thirsty, and he told QNews Magazine at the time he understood why a gay player might be reluctant to be open about their sexuality.
“I feel for the first AFL player that comes out because he’s going to be ‘the gay player’, and you don’t want that,” he said.
“You want to be identified as the best in your field, not as the best gay player.
“I’ve been to the AFL a few times and I’ve seen lots of homophobic taunts yelled out. I think the AFL is doing a great job with it but there’s still a way to go.”