Former MLS player comes out in Instagram post with boyfriend
Former Major League Soccer (MLS) player Matthew Pacifici has revealed he has a boyfriend in an Instagram post.
Pacifici, who used to be a goalkeeper for Columbus Crew in the MLS, posted the news to his more than 3,300 followers on Instagram on Sunday (January 20).
The 25-year-old sportsman uploaded a photo of himself holding hand with his boyfriend Dirk Blanchat, who, like Pacifici, grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, reports Outsports.
MLS former player takes to Instagram to tell fans about boyfriend
Pacifici, who retired early from the sport because of a head injury, wrote in the caption: “What do you mean ‘I didn’t tell you?'”
Blanchat, who now lives in New York, also publicly came out to his followers on Sunday.
Posting a photo of himself and Pacifici, he wrote: “They say it’s a great city to be single in… I guess I wouldn’t know .”
Pacifici used to play for university side Wake Forest and later at Davidson Wildcats.
“When you’re in a relationship that makes you happy, and on social media you see people posting about their girlfriends, it feels weird not being a part of that.”
He retired from football a couple of years ago after he was kicked in the forehead during a training session while at Columbus Crew, where he was signed as a third string keeper in 2016.
MLS former player Pacifici forced to retire early over injury
Pacifici was diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) after the incident, meaning his heart rate jumps abnormally high when he stands up from a lying-down position.
Speaking to Outsports, Pacifici said: “When you’re in a relationship that makes you happy, and on social media you see people posting about their girlfriends, it feels weird not being a part of that.
“You want them to know. This relationship is the one that makes me the most happy ever in my life.”
In June 2018, Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin became the first openly gay active player in the MLS when he publicly came out.