US professional footballer Collin Martin comes out as gay

Greg Evans
Sunday 01 July 2018 08:15
sport
Picture:(Anthony Souffle/ Star Tribune)

With the 2018 World Cup in Russia currently dominating a lot of headlines, other football stories can tend to get overlooked.

Yet, something truly significant, that is probably bigger than the game itself, happened in the United States on Friday.

Minnesota United midfielder, Collin Martin came out as gay in a Twitter post ahead of his team's annual 'Pride Match' at their home stadium, in support of the LGBT community.

The 23-year-old is now the only openly gay athlete in the five major US sports leagues and is only the second-ever MLS player to ever come out.

In his statement, Martin explained that his friends, family and teammates already knew about his sexuality and encouraged others in the sports who might be keeping their sexuality secret to believe that they will be accepted:

Tonight my team, Minnesota United, is having their Pride night. It's an important night for me - I'll be announcing for the first time publicly that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. 

I have been out as a gay man for many years to my family and friends, and this includes my teammates.

I have played Major League Soccer for 6 seasons: 4 seasons with DC United and 2 seasons with Minnesota United.

Today, I'm proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay.

I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier. 

As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am. 

In light of my experience as a professional athlete, I want to take this moment to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly.

June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Price and to be playing as an out gay man.

In 2013, now retired footballer Robbie Rogers came out as gay, making him the first active gay man to compete in a top American sports league and only the second footballer in history to come out as gay, following in the footsteps of Justin Fashanu in 1990.

Rogers retired at the end of last season, meaning Martin is now the only openly active gay football in the world. In a show of support, Rogers shared Martin's post and said it was "inspiring."

Soon, other footballers and teams from around the world began to show their support and admiration for Martin.

Others from the worlds of entertainment, politics and journalism also praised Martin for is courage.

Unfortunately, Minnesota United couldn't win their match on Friday and succumbed to a 1-0 courtesy of FC Dallas.

Although he was an unused substitute, after the game, Martin spoke to members of the press about his decision.

HT Daily Dot

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