Emma Watson Praises Gay Rugby Star’s ‘Physical And Moral Courage’

Harry Potter star Emma Watson has shown One Direction star Liam Payne how to deal properly with gender and sexuality equality issues. Watson played trainee wizard Hermione Granger in all eight Harry Potter films and is currently a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for women’s equality issues. On the day where Payne was widely criticized for his poor use of words, Watson has come out firmly in support of Rugby League player Keegan Hirst.

Hirst is the first U.K.-based professional Rugby League player to come out as openly gay. Hirst, who is a prop forward and the captain of Batley Bulldogs, competes in a sport that is widely recognized for its physical brutality. According to Pink News, Hirst was married to a woman and has children and is one of the first rugby stars to come out publicly about his sexuality. Watson has personal experience of how easy it is for people to be stereotyped. Emma hit out at journalists back in 2012 after she was asked if she was coming out as a lesbian after she had her hair cut short.

According to the Mirror, Emma was quick to show her support for Keegan after he came out over the weekend. Watson took to Twitter to make a series of posts praising Keegan’s courage.

Watson opened her messages of support by saying that “[C]ourage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.”

Emma continued with a series of posts praising Hirst’s physical and moral courage in the face of hardship.

Hirst, who says he wants to “break down stereotypes” in a sport that is typically seen as “macho,” was clearly delighted to receive support from Emma Watson and other celebrities who showed him support in the wake of his revelations. He tweeted his thanks to Emma and to Stephen Fry who also showed him support.

Keegan responded in kind to Watson by tweeting his support to a cause close to Emma’s heart. Watson is a keen supporter of the #heforshe campaign which shows support for gender equality.

Emma Watson is clearly keen to help people to overcome stereotyping and prejudice in whatever form it may take.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]