Former professional rugby athlete Dan Palmer wrote a lengthy article for the Australian channel Sydney Morning Herald and exposed his homosexuality. The 32-year-old former player said he ended up getting involved with drugs and had many mental health problems, even having recurring thoughts of suicide.
“I was extremely frustrated, angry and desperately sad. I despised myself and the life I was living. I was stuck in a false narrative and saw no way out. Almost every night, I cried myself to sleep and used to anesthetize myself with a strong cocktail of opioids”– he said.
“My dream was to disappear, change my name and start my life from scratch. It is no exaggeration to say that my own death was preferable to anyone who discovered that I was gay” – said Dan Palmer, adding that he also suffered a lot of homophobia with his colleagues of team.
“Israel Folau, a former player on the [Wallabies] team who was fired for insults to gays, will never see the impact it had on these young people, but if he could, I doubt he could live with himself.” – said – “Although it was not the main impulse for me to do that, the more the Folau saga dragged on, the more I felt a responsibility to say something. For me, more important than the damage it caused to rugby, is the profound impact he had on the children who admired him and who struggle every day to understand his sexuality “ – continued.
He said that he realized his self-destructive behavior with drugs and the non-acceptance when he lived in France, being a very important period for him to realize that if he continued “following that path”, his destiny would not be “one of the best”. After a long period of reflection, he realized that it was best to accept who he was and that he should not continue to settle.
“It disgusts me to know that in the year 2020 there are still people who torture themselves the way I was [me torturando], inside and outside the sport – we need to be better”.