EFL referee James Adcock has spoken publicly about being an openly gay man in football.
Adcock, speaking on the BBC’s LGBT Sport Podcast, said he has received nothing but support from colleagues within football after first coming out a decade ago and hopes that will not change now.
“Just treat me the way you’d treat anyone else,” he said. “You’re there as a supporter, a player or a manager — and you judge me on my performances.”
The 37-year-old has refereed more than 500 matches and is a member of the FA Select Group 2, meaning he has been a fourth official in Premier League fixtures.
“Now all my colleagues know, and it’s just the norm,” Adcock added. “And, to be honest, there’s been interest from colleagues saying, ‘I’m proud of you James, that you’re able to be openly gay in sport,’ because they know the barriers that are still in place.”
Adcock is the highest-level male official to speak about their sexuality and says that coming out should not be a barrier to career progression in his profession.
“A lot of referees will think they can’t come out because it’s going to affect their progression within the sport,” he said.
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