MLS footballer Collin Martin comes out as gay
He is the only openly gay player in Major League Soccer
Minnesota United footballer Collin Martin has come out as gay on Friday, becoming Major League Soccer's only openly gay player in the process.
The 23-year-old, who plays in midfield for the side which entered MLS in 2017, took to Twitter this afternoon to announce the news, which coincides with Minnesota United's Pride night.
In the statement Martin revealed that while many of his teammates were already aware of his sexuality, as well as his family and friends, he felt the time was right to announce it publicly.
"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 Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man."
Tonight my team, @MNUFC , is having their Pride night. It's an important night for me — I'll be announcing that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. #soccerforall pic.twitter.com/cOJQXfrBiv
— Collin Martin (@martcw12) June 29, 2018