Referee James Adcock thankful for positive response to coming out interview
Adcock shared his story in October
Referee James Adcock has opened up about his experience of being an openly gay man in football, stating that he is pleased with the positive response to his coming out interview.
Adcock, who has officiated in Premier League matches, as well as amateur games, recently shared his story with the BBC LGBT Sport Podcast in October.
His interview coincided with National Coming Out Day, with the 37-year-old saying that he hoped his story would help others.
Mr Adcock, from Long Eaton in Derbyshire, stated that his colleagues within the game had always been supportive of his sexuality, but the coverage since his interview has seen even more goodwill from people.
"It was a bit surreal to be quite honest with you," he said.
"I was inundated with text messages and messages on social media - first of all from family and friends but also total strangers on Instagram and Facebook.
"They were really positive messages of 'well done' and 'congratulations', and saying I was an inspiration to the LGBT communities."
Since Adcock's interview was aired, Australian footballer Josh Cavallo came out as gay, which Mr Adcock said was "pleasing to see".
Despite this, he admitted that while attitudes were starting to shift, there was still work to be done.
He added: "There is still a stigma about people being homosexual in sport.
"There will always be in the back of my mind possibly what a fan might shout if they think there's a dubious decision against their team.
"But hopefully as society is going on as well, if there is a homophobic gesture or comment, there are people around that person who would report it."