Jake Daniels Receives Wave Of Support From Footballers And LGBTQ+ Stars After Coming Out As Gay

·5 min read
Jake Daniels has become the first male professional footballer to come out as gay in over 30 years (Photo: PA)
Jake Daniels has become the first male professional footballer to come out as gay in over 30 years (Photo: PA)

Jake Daniels has become the first male professional footballer to come out as gay in over 30 years (Photo: PA)

Blackpool FC player Jake Daniels has received a wave of support since coming out as gay.

On Monday afternoon, the 17-year-old spoke his truth in a statement published on his club’s official website.

He said: “I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this.

“There are people out there in the same space as me that 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. You being you, and being happy, is what matters most.”

Since speaking out, Jake has received countless positive messages, including from his peers in the football world.

Former footballer Ian Wright also retweeted a message sending “move love” to Jake and saying his coming out “will also mean so much to so many and help to normalise something that should absolutely be normal”.

The Football Association issued a statement saying: “Football is a game for all, with diversity at its heart, and this is a hugely positive step as we strive to build an inclusive game that we can all be proud of.

“We are with you and hope your story will help to give people across the game the strength and encouragement to be their true self.”

Meanwhile, a host of public figures from the LGBTQ+ community have also voiced their support for Jake.

Jake is the only current openly gay male professional player in the UK, and the first male professional footballer to come out publicly since the late Justin Fashanu 32 years ago.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I have been thinking for a long time about how I want to do it, when I want to do it. I know now is the time. I am ready to be myself, be free and be confident with it all.

“I feel like I am ready to tell people my story. I want people to know the real me.”

Jake praised his team for being “absolutely amazing” after he came out to them, saying his teammates have “all been so supportive and everyone has had my back”, adding that his captain had told him he was “so proud” of him.

“Their reaction has been brilliant. It’s the best thing I could have asked for,” he added.

Blackpool Football Club went on to say they had worked closely with the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall and “the relevant footballing organisations to support Jake” in his coming out.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

READ MORE:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting