#LGBTInnovators - British Rugby League Player Keegan Hirst
18th February 2016
Keegan Hirst is a professional Rugby League Player for Batley Bulldogs.
From Batley, West Yorkshire, he plays as prop forward and is the team captain. Hirst began his career as an academy player at Bradford Bulls before joining Hunslet Hawks in 2008. After a season with the Hawks, Hirst moved to Dewsbury Rams for two seasons and then moved to Batley Bulldogs for the 2012 season. In 2013 he moved to Featherstone Rovers but returned to Batley, first on loan and then on a permanent move in 2014.
In 2015 Hirst became the first British Rugby League player to come out as gay.
When asked when other rugby players would come out, he responded:
“When they’re ready to. I don’t think it’s fair to try and force it. A person, whoever they are, can only come out when they want to. They’ll feel the same as anybody else does before they come out. But if a regular guy has 100 people to come out to, to be possibly rejected by, footballers have 50,000 people who they feel may reject them. I think only when they’re totally comfortable with their situation will you get a footballer who publicly comes out.”
Leap Sports is spotlighting #LGBTInnovators in sport throughout LGBT History Month this February. We will celebrate a different LGBTI innovator in sport each day. LGBTI sports innovators include athletes, competitors, coaches, managers, community members, founders or co-ordinators of sports groups, someone passionate about their sport.
Got an LGBTI innovator in sport that you would like to shine a light on?
Use your imagination and join the conversation using the hashtag #LGBTInnovators on Twitter @Leapsports and Facebook facebook.com/leapsports
Find out more about LGBT History Month at www.lgbthistory.org.uk