It is an exit that has not gone unnoticed in the British and international press. On Monday, May 16, Jake Daniels, a 17-year-old professional soccer player, decided to come out as gay. In a press release. For the first time since Justin Fashano debuted 32 years ago.
In a particularly masculine environment, living your homosexuality in broad daylight is no easy feat. As a result, taboos are hovering over the professional sports sector, especially football. But is the trend slowly changing? After Australian player Josh Cavallo was knocked out last year, it was Blackpool’s midfielder Jake Daniels, in the British Second Division, to reveal his homosexuality.
This season has been great for me on the field. I played my first professional game, scored 30 goals for the reserve team, signed my first professional contract and shared the success with my teammates.
But off the field, I hid my truth and who I really am. I’ve known all my life that I was gay, and now I feel like I’m ready to go out and be myself.
A gritty revelation when we know that anti-gay slurs are still on the cards today. However, if he admits that being one of the first professional players to walk out is a “step into the unknown”, the young midfielder remains confident. interview by Sky Sports He says :
“As I see it, I play football and (viewers) can yell at me, but they pay to see me play and make a living that way. Until they scream whatever they want, it won’t change anything at all.”
Blackpool’s Jake Daniels talks about being the first UK professional footballer to come out openly as gay since Justin Fashanu
– Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 16 2022
become a model
This audience that everyone is already talking about has sparked many comments in the world of football and elsewhere. The young player received many messages of support, including the FA’s message:
“Football is a sport for everyone, with diversity at its core, and this is a huge step in the right direction as we try to create a truly inclusive sport that we will all be proud of.”
For his part, Jake Daniels hopes his gesture will make a difference and inspire other players to take responsibility for themselves and other gays to get out in environments other than professional sports.
I hated lying my whole life and felt the need to change to fit in. I want to set an example for myself by doing this.
There are people in the same situation as me who may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in with yourself.
Being yourself and being happy is what matters the most.
What if a new, more inclusive era in professional sports opened up?
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