Scottish referee Lloyd Wilson thinks football is “ready and ready” for more people to appear in public as cheerful and “good entries” are made as the game becomes more inclusive.
Wilson and fellow referee Craig Napier both appeared as gay Thursday and Wilson hopes his decision will inspire others in football to pursue an opportunity.
“There are people watching the game, weekly, weekly, there are people playing the game, there are people training the game, working in the game, who are even petrified, and I hope that if my story encourages even one person. Then I did good work, “Wilson told Sky Sports News.
“I think now I can walk the streets without having to feel like I’m different. That needs to be normalized now and we’re starting to take good steps, the evidence that I think exists. Football that I hope is ready. and ready for it and I’m pretty sure Scottish football is. “
Wilson, who referees in the lower Scottish leagues, revealed that fear of backlash almost led him to change his mind about publishing his story, but the positive reaction justified his decision.
Wilson said: “There will be people watching this who have been in the situation I’ve been in for so long. And even last night, I was so close to pulling this off where I just couldn’t do it. But the reaction. I had , it was incredible, absolutely incredible.
“The reaction I had – I’m really shocked. The reaction was exceptional, I didn’t have a single negative comment. I was really scared of that. I keep them from coming, me. I’m not naive enough to think that something might not come.
“But why now? 17 years of silence, 17 years of life I didn’t want to live, you can only live that long. I have a partner of about a year, Hamish, who has been incredibly supportive and incredibly encouraging. So that’s why I’m doing it now. “
Wilson says he was inspired by the bravery of Jake Daniels, who became the first active professional male player in the UK to appear as a gay man since Fashanu in 1990 in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports last month.and Josh Cavallo, the Adelaide United player who also previously revealed that he is gay.
“This was not just on a whim. This has been prepared for quite some time,” he said. “But I think Josh Cavallo is a name that has absolutely contributed to this, and 17-year-old Jake Daniels is absolutely incredible. Jake has certainly contributed to how I feel and how I feel I can do that, what am I “. I do. And in fact, Josh is one of the people who contacted me today.
“I haven’t even responded to his message yet, so it just shows you the kind of power that’s out there and not just Josh. There are a lot of other high-profile names that have gotten in, and the support has been huge. rarely get support, so it’s good to get that. “
Wilson was backed by Crawford Allan, Head of Referee Operations at the Scottish FA, in the weeks leading up to the announcement – and the historic moment is still deepening.
“It was a big dilemma for me to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and make this decision for others as well because above all, of course, it is for me hopeful to have a better quality of life, not to add to that life situation.
“But I also think the important part here is that there’s a very strong message in this. I looked at a few headlines today and it mentions, ‘The first known referee comes in Scotland’ and that’s really sad for me, that This is not just about referees, club officials, clubs, there is a huge message in this also for players and taking it away from even Scottish football, in everyday life, people are affected by the experiences I have had.
“The weight is definitely not on my shoulders right now. It kind of feels like that night before Christmas still, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m standing here talking on TV, but I’m still a little bit. Trembling and nervous. I can’t. to believe that I am actually doing this is still in such a shocking moment. “