Football League referee James Adcock comes out as gay

·1-min read
EFL referee James Adcock has come out as gay  (Getty Images)
EFL referee James Adcock has come out as gay (Getty Images)

English Football League referee James Adcock has publicly come out as gay.

The 37-year-old became a full-time referee in 2016 when he was appointed to the EFL’s Select Group 2 and has also operated as a fourth official in the Premier League.

On National Coming Out Day, Adcock said that he had received nothing but support from colleagues since privately coming out ten years ago.

He hopes that he can inspire others to have the confidence to speak publicly.

“A lot of referees will think they can’t come out because it’s going to affect their progression within the sport,” Adcock told the The LGBT Sport Podcast (BBC).

“But you are not judged by your sexuality - and if you are confident enough in yourself, you’re going to have every support from every colleague, and it’s not going to affect you.

“To come out as gay or not come out as gay, you have to choose that as a person and not as a ref. But from the top level down, there’s not an issue.

“I don’t need to wear a T-shirt saying: ‘I’m James Adcock and I’m a gay guy.’ People know and just accept it.

“I’ve not had any homophobic abuse thrown at me, and I can’t tell you a story where I’ve had to combat or overcome that.”

Adcock’s fellow EFL official Ryan Atkin came out in 2017.

In rugby, 2015 World Cup Final referee Nigel Owens and Gallagher Premiership regular Craig Maxwell-Keys are also both openly gay.

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