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Former New Zealand All Blacks star Campbell Johnstone comes out as gay

"I pushed that side of me down deeper and deeper. I went to some interesting places," the former All Blacks star said.

By Alastair James

Campbell Johnstone
Campbell Johnstone comes out as gay (Image: Sky Sports)

The former New Zealand rugby player, Campbell Johnstone, has come out as gay, the first to do so from the All Blacks.

Johnstone made the announcement on Monday (30 January) telling the Seven Sharp programme he’d lived a “double life”.

“If I can be the first All Black that comes out as gay and take away the pressure and stigma surrounding that whole issue it can actually help other people,” Johnstone said.

He also said it could help New Zealand sports in general.

He added: “If I open up that door and magically make that closet disappear, then we’re going to help a lot of people.

“I pushed that side of me down deeper and deeper. I went to some interesting places,” he said as reported by The Independent.

Johnstone played three tests in 2005 for the All Blacks, including two against the British and Irish Lions. He has also played for the French team Biarritz Olympique, the New Zealand team, the Crusaders, as well as the Welsh team, the Ospreys.

The All Blacks congratulated Johnstone on his announcement. They wrote: “Much love and support for All Black #1056 Campbell Johnstone for having the courage to share his story and helping create a more inclusive game.

Mark Robinson, the CEO of New Zealand rugby added: “Your strength and visibility will mpave the way for others in our game.”