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Pro netball player comes out, never faced homophobia on the court

Laura Clemesha has been out on her team for a while.

Super Netball Rd 3 - Fever v Firebirds
Laura Clemesha plays for the Queensland Firebirds in Australia.
Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Professional netball player Laura Clemesha has come out publicly to talk about the power of homophobia in sports. It’s something she says she’s actually never faced, but in her article she cites examples of others’ experiences.

She wrote her story for the Caboolture News:

Within the Firebirds, Gabi Simpson - one of my best friends since our time at the Australian Institute of Sport - was one of the first people I told and was hugely supportive.

From there it was easy to talk to other teammates.

Our team is so close and it initially felt strange to withhold something that was such an important part of who I am.

We're like sisters, we know all of each other's business.

For those of you unfamiliar with netball, the sport is akin to basketball, played by teams of seven. Movement by each player is limited, and each player can hold the ball for only a certain amount of time.

She also talked about the existential importance of having other out athletes to look up to for inspiration.

“Collingwood netball star Ash Brazill is one of the most talented, liked and admired athletes in our sport,” she wrote. “She's openly gay and gave me confidence to be open with my team mates and coaches.”

Now, like the domino effect we’ve talked about so often, she will inspire others to do the same.

You can read her full article here. You can also find her in Twitter @LauraClemeshaQ.