Tom Daley: it makes no difference if he's gay

December 05, 2013, 9:00 AM GMT+0

The vast majority say Tom Daley’s announcement that he is “dating a guy” makes no different to their opinion of him – and neither does it when sports stars come out in general

Since British Olympic diving medallist Tom Daley announced on YouTube that he was “dating a guy”, there has been a surge of commentary: he is a “role model”, the “revelation will help to change attitudes.”

A new YouGov poll reveals that while Daley says “it shouldn’t matter”, the public overwhelmingly agrees.

Although reportedly some of Daley’s family advised him to keep quiet a bit longer, only 10% of the public say that his statement - "of course I still fancy girls but right now I'm dating a guy and I couldn't be happier" - has made them view him more negatively.

10% say the announcement made them view him more positively, but the vast majority (77%) say it makes no difference to their opinion of the diver.

Daley has been called an icon for gay British sports stars who feel unable to disclose their sexuality, but, even for the broader group of sports stars in general who come out, 76% say it makes no difference to their opinion of them.

Former Wales and Lions rugby captain Gareth Thomas revealed he was gay in 2009 and continued to play professionally until 2011. In the USA, NBA basketball player Jason Collins said he was gay earlier this year, but has not been signed since despite a 12 year career with six different teams. In May YouGov America found that 55% of the US public approved of his decision to come out.

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