Out soccer star Collin Martin says there ‘has to be’ more gay footballers
Minnesota United soccer player Collin Martin, who came out as gay last year, has said “there has to be some more gay footballers” out there.
“I think it’s a shame nowadays when people aren’t able to be themselves, so hopefully we’ll see more change soon,” he added.
Collin Martin wanted to be ‘an example for young kids’
Martin also opened up about his experience of coming out as gay last year, and being one of a very limited club of openly gay men in football.
“When you make a public statement like that, you’re not doing it for yourself really,” Martin said.
“I was truly doing it to be an example for young kids, or people that were maybe unsure of their sexuality, or in another place in sport.
“I think it’s a shame nowadays when people aren’t able to be themselves.”
– Collin Martin
He continued: “I’ve never felt uncomfortable, even in a stadium. I’ve never felt like I would be heckled for the person I am or anything. I’m sure there’s still some type of negative culture out there in sport but my experience personally has been really positive, and it’s definitely a product of not only my team at Minnesota United but also the league for sure.”
Martin made his sexuality clear when he brought his boyfriend to a team dinner
In another interview with Adidas Soccer, Martin revealed that he made his sexuality clear to his teammates when he brought his boyfriend to a team dinner.
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“I think it was sort of like, ‘OK, Collin brought a guy, that makes it pretty clear,’” he said.
He also revealed that he started to think that it would be “a shame” if he didn’t come out as gay while he was active in sport.
“I didn’t know how much people needed this story. I happen to be in an industry where there’s not enough representation. The worst thing you can do in this life is second guess yourself and feel like you have to live a double life. I feel amazing just being able to know that I’m myself every day and I don’t have to hold anything back.”
Collin Martin made headlines across the world when he came out
Martin made headlines across the world last year when he publicly came out as gay on Twitter.
In a statement at the time, Martin wrote: “June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.”
As we celebrate Pride night I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am. 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.
He went on to receive a standing ovation from the crowd when he played his first game after coming out.