English rugby star Ben Cohen says he doesn't see himself as a gay icon.
The hunky, six-foot-two star of the Sale Sharks club last week kicked off a campaign against homophobia. The Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour begins next month in Atlanta, and will host events in three additional U.S. cities – Washington, Seattle and New York City.
In a new interview with UK glossy QX Magazine
, Cohen talked about how his iconic status in the gay community came about.
"To be honest with you it's something that's been going on for about five or six years," Cohen said. "There's this guy called Laurent in Paris who started a fan page on Facebook and in the last couple of years it really took off. I don't really see myself as a gay icon but I realize I have this huge following and it's growing every day."
"We heard these stories about people getting bullied over their sexual preference and wanting to commit suicide. I'm comfortable with my sexuality. I'm married and I've got kids. But I thought if I can help out in any way, I'm in a position where I can air my opinion and it'll get a lot of listeners. We're trying to support people who are being bullied and to get people who've been bullied to stand up against it."
On Wednesday, Cohen said he was disappointed with Lakers star Kobe Bryant for using an anti-gay slur.