A bodybuilder who was the subject of an open letter from fans has made it clear he is not looking for a return to the sport, but will continue to support it.
Bodybuilder James DeMarco, who won the Bodybuilding.com World Heavyweight title in 1998, announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding in 2016 and has been involved with several charities and clubs.
But he has remained active with the Bodybuilder Gay Sex Network, which has raised money to help support organisations including the National Association of Bodybuilders.
“It’s a shame that a great bodybuilder like James DeCarlo has become such a target for this type of hate,” the letter, posted on Bodybuilding Gay Sex’s Facebook page, said.
“While we respect James’s decision to take his own life, the backlash has created a dangerous environment for him and other bodybuilders.”
DeMarco told the ABC that he was disappointed that the letter had caused such a reaction.
“I was shocked and appalled that the internet was attacking me, not only because of the words I wrote, but also because of some of the content,” he said.
He said he had hoped the letter would help others in the sport and said he did not want to be judged.
“The thing that I wanted to say to the people that were saying that it was okay for bodybuilders to be gay is that we’re all the same, and we’re just bodybuilders,” he told the BBC.
It doesn’t make sense, it’s just wrong.” “
To say that you can’t support someone because they’re gay is ridiculous.
It doesn’t make sense, it’s just wrong.”
A source told the Australian that DeMarco had contacted several bodiesbuilding clubs and bodybuilding magazines to make them aware of the backlash.
“James wanted to take some action, so he contacted the bodybuilding clubs to see if they wanted to get involved in the campaign,” the source said.
The Australian understands that the organisations that DeCarlos supported did not take part in the letter.
“We know he wanted to make sure the bodies were aware of it, so that they could stand behind him,” the person said.
Bodybuilding bodybuilder James deCarlo (left) with fellow bodybuilder Matt Stiles (right).
DeMarco also received death threats in the wake of the letter from supporters.
“When you have been the subject to a very bad public debate that is not conducive to your own well-being and well-loved friendships, it takes a lot of courage to take action and to speak up,” the bodybuilders letter said.