Photo via Instagram
"It's awesome to see so many athletes being true to themselves now," rugby player Sam Stanley wrote to Outsports' Cyd Zeigler earlier this year. "The thing for me was never that I wasn't ready it was more how to do it. I was going to put it on Twitter but my other half convinced me not to. I'm happy with how it's all gone."
The rugby player, who says he was partly inspired by rugby player Keegan Hirst coming out publicly, decided to tell his story in a profile in the Times of London this past Sunday (the full story is only available with a subscription). It seems particularly important for the fact that Stanley comes from a family of rugby players and had considered suicide since his sexuality conflicted with his career as "a macho rugby player," according to the Times. Born in Essex to an English mother and a father of Samoan descent, Sam's brother, Michael, is in the Samoa squad for the World Cup, and his uncle is Joe Stanley, the New Zealand center who was part of the All Blacks team that won the 1987 World Cup.
As Zeigler notes, Stanley revealed to the people in his sport that he's gay more than six montha go, and so far the response has been positive, writing in February:
"The reaction from my current and past team mates and coaches has been great so far. I've wanted to do this for such a long time but didn't really know how to and telling people one by one would have been way too stressful. ... I've not been happier and now this huge burden has gone I can move forward and finally be myself. No more lying. Feel liberated!!!"
Luckily, Stanley does seem to be fairly confident, as can be evidenced from his playing guitar nearly nude on his Instagram: