James Adcock, an experienced referee spearheaded more than 500 matches in his career has admitted of being gay and the fact that, he is not shy about it.
In an exclusive interview with BBC, Adcock reflected on his time in the game – and explaining why now is the right time to open up about his sexuality.
“As I was going from part-time to full-time in football, some knew and some didn’t. Now all my colleagues know, and it’s just the norm. And, to be honest, there’s been interest from colleagues saying, ‘I’m proud of you James, that you’re able to be openly gay in sport,’ because they know the barriers that are still in place.
“They’re fully supportive and don’t change the way they are around me or the way they speak to me because they thought I was a heterosexual guy, and now they find out I’m a gay guy. I don’t need to wear a T-shirt saying: ‘I’m James Adcock and I’m a gay guy.’ People know and just accept it.”
He added, “Referees aren’t robots. We’re not the bad guys of football. I’ve not had any homophobic abuse thrown at me, and I can’t tell you a story where I’ve had to combat or overcome that. Just treat me the way you’d treat anyone else. You’re there as a supporter, a player or a manager – and you judge me on my performances.
“That’s what I’m judged on. I’m not refereeing because I’m gay, I’m refereeing because I’m refereeing a game of football – so just treat me as a normal human being.”