Gareth Thomas, one of only a few professional athletes to come out gay during their careers, has retired from rugby, the UK's Daily Mail reported.
“We can confirm that Gareth Thomas is officially retiring from both international and club rugby with immediate effect,” Emanuele Palladino, a rep from Thomas' management company, said in a statement. “This marks the end of what has been a remarkable career for a remarkable person.”
The Welshman played rugby league for the Crusaders in Europe's Super League and previously played rugby union for the Cardiff Blues and Wales.
“If you can't give 100 percent to rugby then you can't do it justice,” the 37-year-old Thomas told the paper. “This is a sad day but I know that my time has come to an end as a player.”
“My passion for the amazing game will never end or leave me, however,” he added.
Thomas came out gay nearly two years ago and over the summer he told the Mirror that he had made the right decision.
“It's been the best few years of my life since I came out,” Thomas said with a smile. “Coming out gave me a sense of relief and pride to be able to walk down the street. The curb used to be my best friend when I wasn't out. I would be ashamed and walk with my head down. I didn't want people to see me or to be recognized.”
“Now I'm walking with pride. If people recognize me now they maybe recognize me as a rugby player or an inspiring proud gay man. I'm proud to be recognized for who I am.”
Source: On Top Magazine