The Harry Potter author has taken to Twitter to defend out gay Olympic diver Tom Daley against trolls who blamed his sexual orientation for his early exit from the Rio Olympics.
The 22-year-old made a shock early exit from the Rio Olympics 10m platform diving, as he failed to make the finals, after winning in the preliminary heat.
Prayer and lobby group Christian voice posted an anti-gay message after the 22-year-old – who is engaged to screenwriter Dustin Lance Black – failed to qualify for the 10-meter platform final at Rio 2016. “Turning gay doesn’t seem to have done Tom Daley any favours at #Rio2016,” the group wrote on Twitter.
But fans of the diver – including Rowling – took to social media to defend him against the abuse. “Can’t decide which is more offensive in this tweet, the stupidity or the spite,” Rowling – who has a long history of supporting LGBT rights – wrote.
In case any Daley fans was wondering if he might retire from professional diving following his failure, he told reporters shortly after the semi-finals that he would be training for the next four years. He tweeted that he was “truly heartbroken,” but added that he would “never give up on his dream of being an Olympic champion.”
Hinting at an Olympic return – despite previously stating his desire to retire and start a family – Daley told the BBC: “I’m so happy with how GB have done, so proud to be part of it and I wanted to be able to stand on top of that podium, so it will be another four years’ hard work. Yesterday I scored the highest score ever in an Olympic Games. Today it wasn’t meant to be. That’s what diving does sometimes.
“I truly am heartbroken because I feel like I am in the peak physical condition and I could have won tonight.”