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Jack Dunne praises Jake Daniels, criticises ‘grim’ Qatar World Cup

Jack Dunne

Leinster’s Jack Dunne has praised Blackpool’s Jake Daniels for coming out as gay, saying it is harder for footballers than rugby players to do so.

Jack Dunne is currently the only openly LGBT+ male professional rugby player, having publicly come out as bisexual to the media last June, although his team mates and people in his personal life had known for a long time before that.

17-year-old Blackpool forward Jake Daniels became the first openly gay professional male footballer in the UK when he came out last week, which has seen him receive widespread support and praise.

Dunne was speaking to the Daily Mail about what it’s like to be a bisexual professional rugby player and touched on Daniels’ situation as a gay professional footballer.

‘The sad truth is money makes the world go around.’

“I have a lot of respect for Jake because the football world is a few steps behind rugby,” Dunne said.

“Footballers get a lot more abuse, regardless. They’ve got the World Cup in Qatar which is a bit grim. I’m not a big football fan anyways but even if I was I don’t think I’d be going over to watch it. The sad truth is that money makes the world go around.

“How can you promote all these rainbow laces campaigns and then consider something like that? Newcastle United tweeted ‘Well done’ to Jake Daniels but then their Saudi owners have some questionable beliefs. Can you really do both?

“I wasn’t impressed when Russia was touted as a potential host for the Rugby World Cup, but our sport is making the right strides.”

Issues facing LGTB+ people in sport.

Fifa has publicly voiced its support of LBGT+ people on a frequent basis, however, this year’s World Cup is being held in Qatar, a country where it is illegal to be homosexual.

The last Fifa World Cup was hosted by Russia, a country where homosexuality is legal, although gay marriage is illegal and there are inadequate protections for LGBT+ people in the country.

Russia had applied to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup, although they could not proceed with their bid after the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed a two-year ban on the country from hosting a major sports tournament in December 2020.

However, the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens was hosted in Russia back in 2013, while the Russians have played at two men’s 15s Rugby World Cups.

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