MLS player Collin Martin comes out as gay
Last Updated: 30/06/18 7:55am
Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin has come out as gay, becoming the only openly gay athlete currently playing in one of the major US sports leagues.
Martin made the announcement via social media on Friday morning, ahead of Pride Night at his club - who are taking on FC Dallas.
The 23-year-old is the first male athlete from a major American sport to come out as gay since Michael Sam, who made the announcement ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Martin joined Minnesota last season and has made 20 appearances for the club, starting five of their last eight games.
Asked about his decision to come out publicly, Martin told Minnesota newspaper StarTribune: "I never thought that was completely important because I thought it had been done before.
"But, you look around, there is still not an out professional athlete in the five major sports in America - right now. So, it's still important.
"The big thing, and the point I am trying to bring across, is that I've been out with the team and with my team mates and the staff for over a year now, and I have had nothing but support.
"At this point, it was just trying to maybe get over that hump and to maybe see if I can just affect more people, because I think I have affected a lot of people in my daily life and around this locker room positively, just by being myself."
You the man Col! Proud to call you a teammate and friend! Now Let’s go get this W!— Christian Ramirez (@Chris_Ramirez17) June 29, 2018
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has released a statement which read: "We admire Collin's courage and are proud of him and of the support from the soccer community."