Only openly gay major league men's soccer player Collin Martin endorses Buttigieg
© Greg Nash

Minnesota United soccer player Collin Martin, the only openly gay male athlete in a major American sports league, has endorsed South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE (D) for president in an interview published by BuzzFeed News.

“I’ve been following along with Pete for a bunch of months now and I’ve been completely impressed by the guy,” Martin told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.


“Obviously, I think we’re at a really critical time in our country not only concerning who’s in the presidency now but just with issues like climate and upholding people’s basic rights and I think Pete’s the man for the job. I’ve been completely enamored by him,” he added.

Martin also cited a moment when Buttigieg, who is also openly gay, addressed Vice President Pence in April, saying if Pence had a “problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

Martin, a practicing Episcopalian like Buttigieg, said the moment made him think, “This guy just really gets it.”

Martin also took to Twitter Wednesday afternoon to explain his endorsement despite saying that "athletes like" him or told "to keep quiet about politics."

“Athletes like me are told to keep quiet about politics but I refuse to sit on the sidelines when my community is under attack, especially by politicians who use faith as an excuse to discriminate. That’s why I’m proud to endorse @petebuttigieg for president,” Martin tweeted.

“Now more than ever, we need a president who will protect and defend LGBTQ rights as if they were his own. Pete represents a new generation of leadership that our country deserves. I’m so proud to back Pete’s historic campaign and to see an openly gay man of faith welcomed on that 2020 debate stage for exactly who he is,” he added.