Two Scottish referees, Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson have followed in the path of Josh Cavallo and Jake Daniels to indicate their sexuality as gay. The two became the first referees to come out publicly as gay in history.
Lloyd Wilson has officiated 26 games across all Scottish divisions this season, awarding 86 yellow cards and three red cards. His counterpart Craig Napier has handled thirty-two games, he has issued ninety-seven yellow cards and nine red cards in the Scottish league.
In October, Josh Cavallo who plays with Adelaide in the Australian league became the first professional football player to come out as gay and last month Blackpool’s young star became the first professional football player in the UK to reveal his gay status.
Napier, 32, revealed he had “never had a bad experience when I’ve had these conversations”.
“I’ve always felt so much lighter after speaking about it,” he explained.
“This isn’t a conversation about me, this is a conversation about trying to change the culture in Scottish football.
“There is something about football, there’s still that barrier. Hopefully, here in Scotland, I can play a small part in hopes that it can inspire whoever is out there to be more comfortable in who they are and have the conversations with their family, their friends, and their teammates and come out publicly if they feel able to.
“There are no footballers on the pitch who are [openly gay], but they are there. And until we have these conversations and these role models on the pitch, there will be that stigma and that fear.”
Undoubtedly, the emergence of Josh Cavallo to disclose publicly his sexuality as a gay has built confidence in others who are also in sports.
Former Manchester United captain and defender Patrick Evra said there are at least two or more gays in the clubs he played in England.
“When I was in England, they brought someone to talk to the team about homosexuality.
“Some of my colleagues said ‘it is against my religion, if there is a homosexual in this locker room, let him leave the club’ and other comments.
“At that time, I said, ‘shut up. I played with gay players.
“Face to face, they opened up with me because they are afraid to speak otherwise.”
“There are at least two players per club who are gay. But in the world of football, if you say so, it’s over.”