‘A lot of it you couldn’t publish!’
Gay rugby player Keegan Hirst has spoken about changing room banter with his teammates in a new interview.
The star, who has appeared on Channel 4 show First Dates since coming out, says: ‘There is a lot of innuendo. Handling balls that sort of thing. Most of it you couldn’t publish!’
However, he added that everything said in jest, and that his fellow sportsmen have embraced him with open arms.
‘It’s just part of the day-to-day craic in the dressing room. Like if someone has a bad haircut or has put a bit of weight on,’ he explains.
‘That bit of ribbing is acceptance. It’s not an elephant in the room or something people have to skirt around or be careful of what they say.’
Keegan, a father of two, married girlfriend Sara at the age of 20 before coming out in 2015 to massive fanfare.
He continued: ‘The lads have welcomed me with open arms. Obviously they are aware but we all do the same job and there’s not really any egos there – it’s not that kind of club. There’s been no issues at all. It has been a pretty easy transition.’
He also spoke to the Express about experiencing homophobia from away fans – albeit indirectly. ‘I can only go off what I experienced at Batley. I never heard anything even in jest from away fans.’ he said.
‘Things have got back to me that have been said but I’ve never heard anything myself.’
Last month, we spoke to Keegan about fatherhood, partying at Manchester Pride and his advice to closeted sportsmen.