May 16, 2022 — Athlete Ally responded to news that 17 year-old UK footballer (or soccer player for U.S. readers) Jake Daniels has come out as gay, making him the first active openly gay professional male footballer in the UK since 1990.
Daniels, who plays for Blackpool FC in the Championship League, came out publicly through a statement released by his team.
“I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself,” Daniels wrote. “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.”
“Athlete Ally sends tremendous love and support to Jake Daniels,” said Joanna Hoffman, Athlete Ally’s Director of Communications. “His visibility has a monumental impact, especially given how few men in UK football have come out as gay while playing. He is changing and saving lives by being unapologetically himself.”