Richie Anderson has balls.
The BBC TV and radio presenter told his Sunday league football club that he was working on a special report about grassroots football, but his teammates didn’t know he was actually exploring homophobia in the sport.
Footballer @richie_anderson has never come across an ‘out’ player at #SundayLeague level. He now believes it's time for himself to tell the rest of his teammates at Coombs Wood F.C. that he’s gay. #Football pic.twitter.com/2xQ3svN1hO
— BBC The One Show (@BBCTheOneShow) January 23, 2018
While filming the piece for the daily BBC One program The One Show, Anderson recently sat his teammates down in the locker room for a serious postgame chat.
“One of the big issues that we’ve looked at this week, which is really close to my heart, is homophobia in football,” he stammers, choking up. “The reason why that means a lot to me is I’m a gay footballer. So I just wanted to be open and honest because with you lot it’s just been class. This is really hard for me to do now.”
Before Anderson can continue, his teammates give him a warm round of applause, eagerly shaking his hand and patting him on the leg.
“It probably doesn’t mean as much to us as it does to him,” one chum tells the BBC One crew. “So I’m really proud for him to be able to come out and say what he said, and for the lads to be as supportive as they were.”
— Richie Anderson (@richie_anderson) October 25, 2017
“I’m so relieved,” Anderson later says. “It probably helped that I scored as well. But the main thing is I hope there’s people watching this who are in the same boat that I was in, and they’re thinking, You know what? I can do that as well.”
Watch Anderson’s emotional full report below.