Sunday, July 15, 2018

Collin Martin comes out to become only gay male in major US professional leagues

SoccerNews in MLS 29 Jun 2018

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Minnesota United player Collin Martin has become the only publicly gay male athlete active in the United States’ five major professional leagues.

MLS midfielder Martin released a personal message on Twitter revealing he will share the news for the first time to the public during Minnesota United’s Pride Night on Friday, although many of his team-mates were already aware of his sexuality. 

“I have been out as a gay man for many years to my family and friends, and this includes my team-mates,” Martin wrote in a statement. 

“I have played Major League Soccer for six seasons: four seasons with DC United and two 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 team-mates 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 Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.”

Minnesota will wear rainbow numbers as they celebrate Pride Night in Friday’s game against Dallas.

“We admire Collin’s courage, and are proud of him and of the support from the soccer community,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

Former United States international Robbie Rogers came out in 2013, going on to play for LA Galaxy in MLS before retiring in 2017 due to injuries.

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