Fox Sports presenter outed as a lesbian by colleague opens up about ordeal: ‘It can be dangerous’
Australian Fox Sports presenter Megan Barnard has opened up about being outed to the public by a colleague.
Fox Sports fired reporter Tom Morris in March after an audio message leaked in which he outed Megan Barnard as a lesbian, using derogatory, crude language to describe her.
Many reports at the time redacted Barnard’s name, however she acknowledged the outing in an Instagram post on 20 March, saying that “fortunately” she is “at a place in life where I am comfortable with who I am, and I can handle something deeply personal becoming public”.
Barnard, one of Australia’s most prominent sports presenters for women’s cricket, opened up further about the ordeal in a new interview with Stellar Magazine.
“No one should ever be forced to come out before they’re ready; it can be dangerous,” she said.
“Some people might not think it’s a big deal in this day and age, but it still is; no one knows what you suffered when you were younger and talking about your sexuality is such a private, personal piece of you.
“People have messaged to share their stories, struggles and fears of coming out — and of being outed. I have tried to respond to everyone that has contacted me.
“And if this resonates with just one person and makes them realise it’s OK to be gay, that it’s not something to hide or run from, then sitting down for this article has been worth it.”
Tom Morris was fired following an investigation into the leaked audio.
Fox Sports executive director Steve Crawley said in a statement at the time: “Our culture at Fox Sports is based on a respectful, inclusive environment and a fair go for all.
“While Tom’s journalism has made a valuable contribution to Fox Sports over the past seven years, the message we became aware of yesterday crossed the line.
“The bottom line is we are committed to a work environment where everyone can come to work in the knowledge they are safe, respected and valued.”
Morris apologised to Megan Barnard, saying he was “deeply ashamed” of his “disgusting and disgraceful comments”.
“I am especially sorry to the person involved,” he added. “No one should ever, in any place, or at any time, be spoken about in that way.”
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