Soccer Player Jake Daniels Comes Out as Gay

The Blackpool soccer player becomes UK’s first male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay since Justin Fashanu in 1990

Professional soccer player Jake Daniels, 17, came out as gay in a video interview with Sky Sports. “Now is the right time to do it,” he said. “I feel like I am ready to tell people my story. I want people to know the real me.”

In the interview, Jake talked about coming out to his family, about wanting to live his authentic life and about the anxiety about whether he will be accepted by his team-mates.

“The subject of being gay, or bi or queer in men’s football is still a taboo,” Daniels say. “I think it comes down to how a lot of footballers want to be known for their masculinity. And people see being gay as being weak, something you can be picked on for on the football field.”

Daniel’s decision to come out has been widely welcomed in the sporting world and beyond in the last few days, as he is praised even by UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William for his “courage” and “bravery” on a “historic day in English Football”.

“Thank you for your bravery Jake, it would have taken huge courage to come out and you will be an inspiration to many both on and off the pitch,” the Prime Minister Tweeted.

“Football should be a game for everyone,” Prince Charles said. “What Jake has done takes courage and will hopefully help break down barriers that have no place in our society.”

In a statement on Blackpool’s website, Jake Daniels credits gay Australian soccer player Josh Cavallo, player-manager Matt Morton and Olympic diver Tom Daley specifically as making his own journey easier.

“I hate knowing people are in the same situation I was in,” Daniels said. “I think if a Premier League footballer does come out that would just be amazing. I feel like I would have done my job and inspired someone else to do that. I just want it to go up from here. We shouldn’t be where we are right now.”