SIR Ian McKellen has slammed the sports world for failing to accept openly gay athletes, insisting many stars are too "afraid" to 'come out.'
The openly homosexual Lord of the Rings actor is convinced many sports stars keep their sexuality secret, over fears they will face a negative backlash from fans if they are honest about their lifestyle.
And MCKellen insists the sports industry needs to make some big changes to help homosexual athletes.
He tells British radio station BBC Radio 5 Live, "When it comes to the business of simply being honest about who they are, some of them (sports stars) 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. But it ain't (sic) going to stop someone being a fantastic footballer because they're honest about their private lives, is it? I don't believe so and the world is changing and sport, I'm afraid, is very slow to catch up."