Tynan Winmar, the son of champion St Kilda wingman Nicky, says he is proud the club he has grown up with has taken a stand against homophobia in sport.
St Kilda will face Sydney in the inaugural Pride Game at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, in a fixture that will draw awareness to sexual diversity and inclusiveness in our game.
Winmar, 28, is confident the game will make a significant difference to those affected by homophobia.
“It’s really significant. I grew up with the football club, obviously with my Dad being who he is. I’m really proud that the St Kilda Football Club has taken a stand against this,” Winmar told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.
“So as soon as they approached me about it I was more than happy to put my face and voice forward.
“It’s a really big event because it’s going to highlight homophobia in sport and it’s going to make a really big stand against it.”
While several gay footballers have disclosed their sexuality in the local football arena, no AFL footballer has come out yet.
Winmar admits it still remains a difficult climate for footballers to come out in, but initiatives like the Pride Game are helpful.
“It definitely going to be very difficult for them, but I think both media and the community needs to be respectful and needs to take into consideration that it’s not an easy process for people,” Winmar said.
“A lot of the time these guys just want to play football they don’t want to have to deal with any other dramas outside the game.
“I think eventually it will create that awareness in the game and someone will step forward but until then I think we just need to be accepting of that and just wait for that to happen.”