Oh for a time ma­chine! No, not to cor­rect mis­takes – that’s a whole other heated de­bate. Although ac­tu­ally, who wouldn’t be tempted with a few lottery num­bers… But peo­ple of­ten for­get, in this fast-paced new world we live in, that us mag­a­zine peo­ple work a lit­tle fur­ther in ad­vance of break­ing news sto­ries…

Which brings me neatly to Mr Kee­gan Hirst. We chat­ted with Kee­gan be­fore his story was re­ported in The Mir­ror, just two days ago, as I write this. We ob­vi­ously said that he’d be a great role model if he did de­cide to come out, but that we re­spected his right to make that de­ci­sion him­self, as and when he wanted to.

Of course, we’d al­ready been in the stu­dio with the bril­liant – and BIG! – James Haskell al­most a month prior to this, talk­ing about just those kind of top­ics. So you could al­most say that our wish came true… And maybe now with Kee­gan telling us, be­fore his story was pub­lished, that he in­tends to keep play­ing, then he can be a role model of another sort, for a new gen­er­a­tion. Maybe then we can stop talk­ing about the ‘last taboo’ of gay sports­men.

I was in­ter­viewed about Kee­gan – it’s all get­ting slightly meta – about whether it was still an is­sue. Of course it is. I envy you if you truly live in a world where you think peo­ple with a public pro­file com­ing out doesn’t help some­one, some­where. But let’s not pro­claim him a hero – let’s let him get on with liv­ing his life with­out the pres­sure of hav­ing to live it as a lie.

And while it’s a shame that, time ma­chine per­mit­ting, we couldn’t get Kee­gan on our cover this time, we’re sure we’ll be see­ing a lot more of him in fu­ture. And, more im­por­tantly, the peo­ple he’s inspired. Dar­ren Scott @dar­ren_s­cott

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