MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A midfielder for the Minnesota United FC soccer team announced Friday that he is gay.
This, according to ESPN, makes Collin Martin the only openly gay male player currently active in any professional sports league, since the retirement of L.A. Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers.
“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,” Martin wrote. “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.”
According to Martin’s statement, he had been open with his sexuality with the team before he made the announcement.
“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,” Martin said. “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.”
The United will be celebrating Pride Night this Friday against Dallas, and will be wearing jerseys with rainbow numbers.