Jake Daniels says he has been overwhelmed by the love and support he has received since the teen became the first active professional football player in the UK to come out publicly as gay.
Daniels, 17, said on Monday sky sport He felt it was time to tell his story at the end of a season in which he scored over 30 goals and made his debut in the tournament.
The positive response to his announcement was heartwarming for the Blackpool striker, who took to Instagram to express his gratitude.
“I’ve taken some time over the past few days to absorb everything that has happened and gather my thoughts,” he wrote. “I’ve been overwhelmed with all the messages of love and support I’ve received. It’s incredibly touching.
“I just want to say a big thank you to blackpoolfc for everything over the past few months – you’ve been amazing.
“To my family and friends for giving me the strength to keep moving forward with my life. I owe you so much.
To skysports_tim for giving me the confidence to be me – your understanding and sensitivity throughout our time together has been phenomenal.
To (agent) @billybingham03 and astrapartnersfootball for their guidance throughout – you have been amazing to me and my family.
“And a big thank you to (Leeds) businessman @terrygeorge for your generosity and care over the past few days.
“I wake up this morning proud of what I’ve done, but even more proud to be a part of this welcoming and supportive community.
“Together we can end the stigma and move football forward.”
Klopp: Football will support Daniels
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is proud of Daniels for making the courageous decision to go public.
“Beautiful. When I saw him speak, I couldn’t believe he was 17 years old.
“The whole football community will support him. Everything we can do. I don’t know him but I am really proud of him. I am really happy for him.”
Prince William: Hope Daniels helps break down barriers
Prince William, the president of the Football Association, also wrote on Twitter his support for Daniels on Tuesday afternoon.
He wrote: “Football should be a game for everyone.
“What Jake did takes courage and we hope it helps break down barriers that have no place in our society.
“I hope his decision to speak up will give others the confidence to do the same.”
Football is a place for everyone.
Daniels cited Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo, the current only professional footballer in the Premier League, as gay, as the inspiration behind his decision to speak up, a point the Australian said was a “great feeling” after he heard the news.
He said: “As Adelaide United and I prepare for the A-League semi-finals, I want to take a moment to acknowledge Jake’s announcement and say how proud I am. Proud of his bravery! It’s such a great feeling to know that my story helped guide Jake to be himself.”
“It is touching to see the millions of people my story has touched and inspired around the world, and to see it help move the global game forward on every level, it is amazing. This world and football is a place for everyone. Love always wins.”
Grealish: ‘A big step forward’
Manchester City striker Jack Grealish said Daniels’ decision to exit was a “big step forward”.
In an exclusive interview with Sky NewsGrealish praised Daniels for coming out with his sexuality after a “long period of lying”.
“I think he shows a lot of courage and no one can disagree with that. I think he is absolutely fantastic and a huge step forward.
“I think now, fingers crossed, for everyone this can be a huge step forward because football is for everyone.”
Rodgers: Another real step forward | Vieira: It shows that things are getting better.
Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers He said: “It was another real step forward, not only in football but in society in general.
“For Jake, I’m sure he will wake up this morning feeling liberated and free to live his life the way he wants to. I’ve seen the reaction of so many people about the sport – football has grown for many years and for Jake and the other guys who want to get out, we hope this will be It’s the beginning.”
Crystal Palace Manager Patrick Vieira He added, “I think it takes a lot of courage to speak up and speak up. The support he has received so far from football and society in general has been really positive. It just shows that the world is getting better. It is good and if it can be a positive example, it is good.”
“Football is no different from our society. We are in a better place than we were 30 years ago and it is still difficult to put football in a box because it reflects our society … although there is still a lot to do.
“Education is the basis of mutual respect. Of course, the strength of the game allows us to educate the majority of people. We can use football to promote education. There is still a lot to do and hopefully in the next couple of years, we will be in a better place.”
Jones hopes Daniels will encourage rugby players to go out
The world of sports has not just reacted to football either. England rugby coach Eddie Jones praised Daniels and said he hoped it would inspire rugby union, where there are also a few gay players.
“The first thing I will do is congratulate [Daniels] To be very brave and courageous, because the first person to do so then opens the possibility for others to do so. Sky Sports News.
“He should be congratulated, and if he encourages a rugby player in a similar situation to do so, we are grateful to that player.”
“We haven’t had a moment like this in a generation.”
Liz Ward, Director of Programs at Stonewall, Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ human rights organization, described it as “a special moment for all of us who love gaming”.
“What a moment,” said Ward. Sky Sports News. “I think my cheeks are really sore from all the smiles I’ve been doing for the past few days.
“We haven’t had a moment like this in a generation and I think the last time it happened the world was in a different place and football was in a different place.
“To be able to sit here and talk about this brave and wonderful 17-year-old boy – by the way, who’s great at football – to be able to live out who he really is and be free to be himself in the world of football this is such an important and special moment for me. For all of us who love the game and the community.”
How Morton Daniels Helped: Jake is the inspiration, not me!
Daniels was inspired by Matt Morton, a ninth-tier player and manager from Thetford Town, before deciding to go public after seeing his own history of being a gay man in football.
But Morton, who has offered his support for Daniels in the months leading up to his exit, says he’s the teen to be congratulated for the courage he has shown this week.
“I’m not the inspiration, it’s him,” Morton told Sky Sports News. “He’s a 17-year-old who was brave enough to go out on national TV, just signed a professional contract, and tell the world he’s gay.
“He’s an inspiration on a whole different level to me. I talk to Jake almost daily, most recently probably weekly, since earlier this year when he reached out to me via Instagram.
“It’s been great trying to help Jake just by seeing my story, being able to relate to it, communicating with me, and then spending the last few months leaning on me with every question under the sun you can imagine getting her head on about it and making her decision about whether or not to go out, As the case may be.”
“Daniels will be an inspiration to many”
DCMS Chair Julian Knight MP added: “Jake Daniels has shown tremendous courage in telling his story and will be an inspiration to many other players and fans who unfortunately feel they can’t. Not be themselves in a game that should be for everyone. More than three Decades since the last professional footballer in this country felt comfortable enough to do so indicates an ongoing culture of homophobia in football that is out of step with the modern era.
“The committee previously called for changes to the Football Crimes Act to make gay abuse a criminal offense. Jake’s brave act may now be a turning point for playmakers and provide new incentive to eliminate prejudices faced by LGBT people on the pitch and in the stands.”
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