MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota United player shared a personal message Friday morning, detailing his plans for the team's Pride night celebration: "I'll be announcing for the first time publicly that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer."
Collin Martin, a midfielder for the team, tweeted the message to his fans saying he was proud that his entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that he's gay. He also added that he's received only kindness and acceptance from Major League Soccer.
Martin is the only active male athlete in a major sports league to come out as gay. Robbie Rogers was a pro soccer player who came out as an active player in 2013, NBA Center Jason Collins came next in 2014, as did Michael Sam as a drafted player in the NFL.
Martin continues, stating, "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 the confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly."
Collin's coming out process is like a lot of GLBT people, it has person to person for a long time, not just one big announcement.
“I've been gay and out with family and friends for over three years now and with my teammates for close to two years,” Martin told Breaking The News' Jana Shortal minutes after coming out on social media.
He says his team and the league, person by person, has been nothing short of extraordinary.
“My coach sat me down yesterday and he said, there's going to be that small few that maybe will try to bring you down but there are so many that care and love you and that is what,” Martin said.
Collin's message for all gay male athletes out there, who aren't out? He said that there is nothing to be afraid of and to give your teammates a chance, one at a time. Collin says he is proud to be a gay man.
That left us with one more question about his parents and if they were worried or scared at all about his coming out publicly.
Collin said his mom was cute about it, and she actually thought he was the first out gay male athlete in the big five sports ever.
As for his father? He posted on Twitter, where Colin came out publicly and told him that he loved him.