Two of the world’s most well-known and popular openly gay sports stars have made a guest appearance in a family US TV show.
LA Galaxy winger Robbie Rogers and Olympic Skier Gus Kenworthy feature in an episode of ABC’s comedy “The Real O’Neals” centered around gay-teen character Kenny who joins his high school wrestling team for one meet at the behest of his older brother.
The two athletes, who both came out at the prime of their career, to give Kenny a pep talk to believe in himself to participate in the meet.
According to series producer David Windsor, the idea for the episode was important to combat pre-conceived notions of high school athletes and sports.
“You can’t get away from stereotypes,” Winsor said in an interview with Outsports.com.
“But we find what’s expected and take a new bent on it. People are more complex than just ‘jock’ or ‘cheerleader’ or ‘academic’ and we like to get into all of that and let it surprise the audience and the characters in the show.
“It’s a little more interesting and layered. it feels more satisfying to us.”
For Rogers, the support of his boyfriend and television producer Greg Berlanti was vital.
“He told me to practice my lines out loud in different ways, which was very helpful,” he said.
“He also was a big advocate and really wanted me to do it even when I was hesitant.”
Last Updated on Dec 10, 2016