Sports

Major League Soccer player comes out as gay

Major League Soccer player comes out as gay

Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin publicly came out as gay in a social media statement Friday morning, making him the only out athlete now playing in one of the five major men's US sports leagues.

Martin, 23, made the announcement on social media hours before his club, Minnesota United FC, was scheduled to host FC Dallas for its "Pride Match", in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

After being signed by D.C. United in 2013, Martin played four seasons for his hometown team before being traded to Minnesota. "Today I'm proud that the entire team and management of Minnesota United know that I'm gay". I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in MLS and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier.

Other US athletes have revealed they are gay during their playing careers, including the NBA's Jason Collins, American football player Michael Sam and Robbie Rogers of the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy. With his post, Martin becomes the only out active athlete in the MLS and in all men's major league sports in the U.S.

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Friday is the United's fifth annual Pride Night and players will be sporting jerseys with rainbow numbers.

Michael Sam has cited his decision to come out before the National Football League draft as the reason his playing career never took off. WNBA players faced opposition from within their own locker rooms when teams tried to mandate Pride t-shirts be worn during Pride Night. "In light of who I am I want to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly", Martin added.

The team shared images of support for Martin on its Twitter account, using the hashtag #SoccerForAll.


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