Mon 16 May 2022 | 18:19

Jake Daniels becomes first gay male professional footballer in Britain

Jake Daniels, a forward for Blackpool, is the first male professional football player in the UK to say he is gay.


Justin Fashanu

in 1990, he is the first male player to come out in public. On


's website, his full statement says, "This season has been great for me on the field. I've played for the first team, scored 30 goals for the youth team, signed my first professional contract, and shared success with my teammates by going on a great run in the

FA Youth Cup

and winning the Lancashire FA Pro-Youth Cup.

"But when I'm not on the field, I hide the real me and who I am. I've known I'm gay my whole life, and now I'm ready to be myself and come out. "Being one of the first footballers in this country to come out as gay is a step into the unknown, but

Josh Cavallo

, Matt Morton, and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, have given me the courage and drive to make a difference.

"To get to this point, my family, my club, my agent, and Stonewall have given me some of the best help and advice. They have all been very proactive in putting my interests and well-being first. I have also told my youth team teammates here in Blackpool, and they have also welcomed the news and supported my choice to be honest and tell people.

"I've hated lying and having to change to fit in my whole life. I'm doing this because I want to be a good example. "There are people out there in the same space as me who might not feel comfortable talking about their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don't have to change who you are or how you should be to fit in.

"It's most important for you to be yourself and be happy." When Daniels told Blackpool and Stonewall that he wanted to tell the public, they helped him make the announcement.

Liz Ward, who is in charge of programs at Stonewall, said, "We are happy that Jake felt he could tell the world the truth. It took a lot of courage for him to be the first openly gay professional footballer in the UK in nearly 30 years, and we're glad that Blackpool FC and his team-mates have stood by him and shown their support.

"We think football has been ready for this moment for a while. Our Rainbow Laces campaign has shown us that attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people in sports are changing, even though there is still a long way to go. We're getting closer to a world where players can be themselves on and off the field, which is something we can all be proud of.

Even though there have been more and more successful attempts to make football a more open and accepting place, there are still horribly out-of-date ideas that need to be thrown out of the modern game.

Idrissa Gueye, a midfielder for

Paris Saint-Germain

, missed his team's game against Montpellier last weekend because he didn't want to wear a shirt with his name in rainbow colors to show solidarity with Tuesday's International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. He didn't go to the same game last season.

source: SportMob

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