ELTON John has added his voice to Sheffield Eagles’ stand against homophobia in sport along with other high-profile gay sports stars.
The Eagles will be the first sports team in the UK to wear a specially-designed strip displaying the slogan Homophobia: Tackle It! when they face Widnes Vikings at Bramall Lane tomorrow.
In a personal message to the Eagles, Sir Elton, who came out in the 1980s, said he was delighted to hear about the initiative.
“I feel that an enormous step forward is being undertaken when rugby league recognises the diversity of human sexuality. I applaud all those involved in this initiative,” said the singer-songwriter.
Backing up Elton are former Sheffield Sharks basketball star John Amaechi, Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas and England cricketer Steve Davis.
Amaechi, who went on to become a star on the United States basketball scene, said: “I am really proud to see Sheffield Eagles take such a proactive step to break stereotypes and embrace their entire fan base.
“It says something truly positive that it is rugby out of all our top sports and a team based in Sheffield in particular - a city I am proud to say I lived in - that are leading the way.”
Gareth Thomas, whose decision to come out is being turned into a film starring Mickey Rourke, said: “I’m really proud to be part of a sport moving forward so pro-actively on the equality agenda.”