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The Scottish referee comes out: 'We have to change the climate' |  football

The Scottish referee comes out: ‘We have to change the climate’ | football

In a video posted online by the Scottish Football Association, Napier said he wanted to change the “climate” within Scottish football.

Napier, who captained ten Scottish League games last season, is the first player to play in Scottish football since Justin Fashanu, who played for Hearts in the 1990s, among others.

“We need to change the climate so people can really feel they can be themselves and live happily and comfortably,” he says. “We need to let this seep into football.”

In addition to Napier, fellow referee Lloyd Wilson has also admitted that he is gay. He works in the lower echelons of Scottish football and testifies in a YouTube video on mental health that he has come a ‘horrible way’.

“I lived a lie for 17 years. I lived the way I thought people wanted to see me alive. And football played a crucial role in that.”

Referees or players who openly declare their homosexuality remain an exception in football. Blackpool striker Jake Daniels, for example, last month became the first British footballer to speak out about his homosexuality since Fashanu.

The 17-year-old said he drew inspiration from other athletes such as Adelaide defender Josh Cavallo and Olympic diving champion Tom Daley. Craig Napier also looked at these examples.

“I never thought I would do this,” he says. “It was a tough road to get here.” “But in recent years it has become easier. It is important that people like me want to do it.”

“Tom Daly inspired me a lot, but he never gave me enough confidence to do it myself. I thought diving was not like football. There is a higher barrier in football. That’s why role models are needed in football. Throwing.”

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“My message is: There’s no point in hiding. You shouldn’t waste your time, but you should live your life the way you want to.”