Scottish referees Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson have come out as gay in a bid to help a climate change in football after Jake Daniels and Josh Cavallo did so too. Napier is a category one referee and became the first figure to come out in Scottish football since Justin Fashanu did so in the mid-1990s. Wilson is a referee in the lower leagues and followed Napier in coming out.
“It’s something that I never thought I would be sitting here doing. It’s something that I’ve obviously lived with for a long time. It’s been a difficult journey to get to this point, but over the last couple of years, it’s become a lot easier,” Craig Napier said before Lloyd Wilson came out as well. “I don’t think this needs to be a news story but I think, at the moment, it really does because we need to see the climate change so that people do feel that they can be their true selves and live happily and comfortably in their own skin, and that needs to transcend into football.”
“I remember reading the newspapers when Tom Daley came out and I was so inspired but not inspired enough where I felt confident enough that I could then come out because I thought ‘diving isn’t the same as football’. There is something about football at the moment. There’s still that barrier,” he added. “I’m involved in lots of spheres in life whether it be social, whether it be at my work in the NHS, whether it be at university where I also work and I’m entirely comfortable. Football is different and I think that’s why these conversations are important because we need to change that culture. There are no footballers on the pitch that are open but they are there.”