Major League Soccer player comes out publicly as gay

Minnesota United soccer player Collin Martin has announced publicly for the first time that he is gay.

In a statement Friday ahead of the team’s first Pride Night, Martin said that he has been out to family, friends and teammates “for many years” and that he is “proud” to be an openly gay athlete in Major League Soccer.

“I’m proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay,” he said. “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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Martin has played in the league for six seasons: Four with D.C. United, and the past two with Minnesota United. The 23-year-old is the only active openly gay player in any of the major North American sports leagues, according to NBC News.

“As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am,” Martin said Friday.

He added that he wants to encourage other athletes to come out and “have confidence” that they will be accepted within their sport communities.

“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,” he said. “June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.”

Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Steady Kavanaugh proves to be a tough target for Democrats Dems vow rules overhaul to empower members if House flips Overnight Health Care: House votes to repeal medical device tax | Fierce ObamaCare critic joins administration | GOP senators target DC individual mandate MORE (D-D.C.) praised Martin for "being a role model for all young #LGBT athletes."

Martin made his debut for the D.C. United team in August 2013. He joined Minnesota United FC in January 2017.