Gay ex-rugby player feels backlash of claim vs teams

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Sydney, Australia (4E Sports) – Former rugby player Jay Claydon, who claimed he was kicked out from North Canterbury teams for being gay, is “really upset” over the backlash he received for his accusation.

Claydon’s mother Carole refused to comment about why her son was dismissed from Kaiapoi and Belfast rugby clubs.

She, however, said her son was upset about the treatment he has been receiving after going public with his claim.

“It’s honestly not a big issue and it’s been blown out of proportion,” Carole said. “It happened eight years ago . . . and it’s done and dusted and we just want to move on now.”

The Kaiapoi and Belfast rugby clubs where Claydon played in 2006 and 2007 both insisted he was not asked to leave because of his sexuality.

Claydon’s former teammate, who requested anonymity, said the reason he was asked to leave the club had nothing to do with his sexuality.

“He was a good kid and I had a lot of time for him. He moved to Australia to get away from it all,” he said, adding Canterbury rugby clubs don’t have a homophobic attitude.

During an interview with writer Jill Stark, Claydon did not name the club because he did not want to single out one team for a “culture that reflects a wider societal problem”.

“I think Jay is an incredibly brave young man who shared his experience in the hope that he might raise awareness of homophobia and give strength to other gay athletes who face similar discrimination,” Stark said.

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