In sparking a conversation about changing the culture in Scottish football, Scottish referees Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson both came out as gay last Thursday with the hope that their decision will inspire others in football to follow suit.
Both referees have come out during Pride Month in a bid to send a message to other football figures. The decision for both referees is significant in drawing out the taboo nature of Scottish football where the sport has been known to have homophobic attitudes within clubs and amongst fans, despite generational progress.
Craig Napier, a Category one referee, went public with his announcement in a video that was posted from the Scottish Football Association Twitter account.
People Should ‘Feel that They Can be Their True Self
In conversation with Scottish FA, Napier spoke of the importance of sharing this with the world because, “we need to see the climate change so that people do feel that they can be their true self and live happily and comfortably in their own skin.”
Napier became the first openly gay figure in Scottish football since late Hearts forward Justin Fashanu in the mid-1990s.
“It’s been really inspiring to see what happened recently, with Josh Cavallo and Jake Daniels”, said Napier. He praised Daniels coming out at 17 and suggested that people would hopefully take inspiration from that as well.