In a significant move, British actor Sir Ian McKellen has slammed the sports world for not being accepting enough of homosexuality.
In an interview to BBC, McKellen said the sports world should be "ashamed of itself" for the lack of acceptance.
"When it comes to the business of simply being honest about who they are, some of them become little shrinking violets because they're afraid, probably, of being booed from the terraces, and that must be a horrible experience and shame on people who do it," he said.
McKellen, who is open about his homosexuality, said sports stars were "absolutely admirable people", but were afraid of negative reaction among fans.
"But it ain't [sic] going to stop someone being a fantastic footballer because they're honest about their private lives, is it?" he said.
"I don't believe so and the world is changing and sport, I'm afraid, is very slow to catch up," he added.
His comments come just weeks after Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas revealed that he is gay.
Thomas said he had hidden his sexuality for many years from all but his closest colleagues.