Minneapolis – Professional soccer player Collin Martin has come out as gay. He is the only male athlete active in the five major pro leagues to be out. Martin plays for Minnesota United. He is also the only professional male soccer player to be currently out and continuing to play. The 23-year-old is the first male US athlete to come out from any of the major leagues since Michael Sam came out before the NFL draft. He decided he would reveal his sexuality ahead of Minnesota United’s Pride night game against FC Dallas on June 29th.
“Today, I’m proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay,” he said. “I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out gay publicly that much easier.” He added in his social media statement: “I want to take this moment to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have the 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.’”
In a statement after Martin publicly came out, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said: “We admire Collin’s courage, and are proud of him and of the support from the soccer community.” Robbie Rogers, a former LA Galaxy and US national team defender, came out in 2013. He retired at the end of 2017 after injuries. There are an estimated 500,000 soccer players around the world. Before Martin, there have only ever been eight men to come out. The Football Association recently the launched “For All” campaign. It is aiming to include people of any sexuality, ethnicity, ability, disability, faith, gender, or age. (Gay Star News – Joe Morgan at Gaystarnews.com/article/professional-soccer-player-collin-martin-comes-out-as-gay/#gs.lUANYAo)