The first time I saw him on television, he looked an attractive player and a suitable, if not better, replacement for Matt Prior. This was during the English winter and the Australian summer, during the just-concluded, vastly entertaining Ashes seried down under. I was actually disappointed when I heard that Prior was given the nod ahead of him the World Cup squad.
In the second week of the World Cup, he has made me proud. He has made all of us proud! Steven Davies has officially come out of the closet, and by doing so has become the first professional cricketer to come out of the closet. This is simply wonderful news for everyone - most importantly for him.
Sinc yesterday, there were dozens of news stories about him. But the most moving one was the one where he detailed how distressing it was to remain in the closet while playing for his teams (England, Surrey, and in the future, surely an IPL franchise). 'A tour of two weeks felt like two years', he said. Initially, he came out to the England coach Andy Flower about this who had a long discussion with him and they both decided that the team needs to know this.
When they collectively announced this to the team, the response was even more heartwarming. Matt Prior apparently gave him a nice hug and asked him why he had kept this to himself all this time! The others must have had poignant responses too. This news comes right at the heel of the news story of James Anderson, the Enlgish pace bowling spearhead and a straight, married man with kids, agreeing to model for a gay magazine photoshoot.
Both the stories speak volumes about the acceptance of of homosexuality as a social variant rfather than an abberant in the English cricket team, and more widely in the UK and in Europe. Indeed, many European countries have made gay civil unions legal and some others like Portugal and Spain have made gay marriages legal.
There are lessons in this. First, being out of the closet is the ideal, for the gay guy and his friends and family. Second, the society and the state, as and when i starts accepting homosexuals as individuals with equal legal rights, make it easier for celebrities and sportsmen to come out of their closet. I hope everyone takes home a message from this story and a glorious path is paved toward more people coming out!
Besides, who wouldn't want a bunch of Indian hotties like Zak and Virat (from the Indian) team coming out of the closet? ,-)
Here are some wonderful links on the story: