17:47 Monday 17 February 2014

Neil Francis' former teammate disagrees that rugby dressing rooms are "homophobic"

AUDIO: Jim Glennon says the environment in rugby has "moved on" since Francis last played

The former Irish rugby international Jim Glennon said that rugby and indeed Ireland has changed since both he and Neil Francis played together.

Francis came under fire after speaking on Newstalk's Off the Ball yesterday, when he said that gay people have "no interest in any kind of sport".

The former rugby player told presenter Joe Molloy, "It's not a generalisation... in every sphere of life that you meet a gay man or gay people in a social environment, the way I look at it after talking to them; they have very little interest in sport".

Francis also said he believed that rugby dressing rooms were a "homophobic place". He went on to defend his remarks while on-air, saying, "I don't care. I'm here. I'm going to express an opinion and that's what I think".

But today Jim Glennon told Newstalk Lunchtime his former teammate was wrong in his assertions:

This morning former Cork hurler Conor Cusack also spoke out against Francis' comments. The mental health ambassador for the Gaelic Players Association has previously spoken publicly about coming to terms with his sexuality.

He told Newstalk Breakfast that such comments were "extremely unhelpful" but that it is important that there is a wider discussion about the impact of dressing room comments on people.

You can listen to an abridged version of Neil Francis' interview here:

The full segment is below:

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