Collin Martin hopes other gay footballers can 'find comfort in sport'
Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin talks about coming out, in new MLS interview to mark 'Soccer For All' in Pride month
Last Updated: 30/06/19 5:47pm
Collin Martin, the Minnesota United footballer who came out publicly last June, has sent a message of positivity to other gay players.
Martin was speaking in a new interview for the MLS 'Soccer For All' initiative taking place during Pride month, a year on from posting to his social accounts to share that he was a gay player in the US pro game.
The 24-year-old from Maryland is the only out sportsman in any of the major professional sports leagues in the States, and one of few out gay men playing or working in professional soccer anywhere in the world.
"There has to be some more gay footballers," says Martin. "I hope that they can find comfort in not only society but comfort in sport, that they can be themselves because I think it's a shame nowadays if people aren't able to be themselves."
Martin explains that coming out publicly was "a natural progression" for him after receiving support from his family, friends and Minnesota team-mates, and as a response to the inclusive culture of Major League Soccer itself.
Further explaining his reasons for doing so, he says: "When you make a public statement like that, you're not doing it for yourself really.
"I was truly doing it just to be an example for maybe young kids or people that were maybe unsure of their sexuality or didn't know their place in sport - it could be really anything."
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Proud to play in a league that not only supports me but values the importance of my story. The sad reality is that in other leagues around the world, teams and leagues are telling players not to come out. That is not only hindering progress in sport but it’s one of the reasons for a lack of representation of gay athletes. Thanks for celebrating pride and putting this video together @adidasfootball @mls @mnufc
An ankle injury kept Martin on the sidelines as Minnesota thrashed FC Cincinnati 7-1 at their Allianz Field home in Saint Paul on Saturday night, lifting the team to sixth spot in the Western Conference.
He had a loan spell at USL Championship club Hartford Athletic earlier this season before returning to the Loons, making appearances in June against Colorado Rapids in MLS and in the US Open Cup win over Sporting Kansas Cup.
In an interview with Gay Times earlier this year, he suggested he could look to secure a transfer on the other side of the Atlantic when his current contract expires, saying: "I've always really wanted to play in Europe. I could go over in a second or third division and work my way in."