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Thomas on Rugby, Women, and Hiding

Thomas on Rugby, Women, and Hiding


Gareth Thomas -- one of the top scorers in the history of rugby and one of the most successful athletes in Wales -- tells HBO's Real Sports in an episode airing Tuesday night that he would go to church regularly to pray that one day he would turn straight.

Thomas is the only out gay male athlete playing in professional sports.

"You gotta be strong, you gotta be muscle, and you know, you gotta be straight," he tells reporter Bernard Goldberg about the sport of rugby. He says he used his built-up anger and frustration over the years against his opponents on the field prior to coming out. He also talks about his constant battle with establishing his masculinity in the press, in the locker room, and to himself. It didn't prevent him from cheating on his wife with men.

"I hated what I did, and I hated myself for doing it," he tells interviewers.

The episode also features Dallas Braden, a pitcher for the Oakland A's who pitched a perfect game; the issue of racism in soccer; and the city of Brownsville, Texas, which is turning out an arsenal of young chess champions.

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