Jake DanielsEnglish footballer blackpool The 17-year-old, a club that plays in the Championship, the second division of that country, became the first active footballer in the United Kingdom and in Europe to declare himself homosexual since he did Justin Fashan in 1990. He acknowledged this Monday in a letter published on the club’s website.
The player begins by highlighting the good season he had in sports, but then goes deeper into his story and acknowledged that “I’ve been hiding my true self and who i really am. I’ve known all my life that I’m gay and now I feel like I’m ready to come out and be myself.”
“It is a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality”, he stressed. Furthermore, he indicated the influence he had on the Australian Josh Cavallowho until last year was the only active footballer to come out as gay and who plays for Adelaide United in his country’s A-League.
“I’ve hated lying all my life and feel the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model by doing this, ”Daniels admitted, after highlighting the support of his teammates, the club, his family and friends.
“There are people in the same space as me who may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell you that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in.”, he added. “Being you and being happy is the most important thing,” she concluded.
In turn, the club gave him its support in the same statement and pointed out that “it is essential that we all promote an environment in which people feel comfortable being themselves, and that football leads the elimination of any form of discrimination and prejudice”.
While women’s soccer has many LGBTQ+ players, the men’s professional game lacks players who are publicly gay, which is why the case of Daniels or Cavallo himself inspires many around the world.
The English Football Association joined in, posting that “this is a hugely positive step as we strive to build an inclusive game that we can all be proud of. We stand with you and hope your story helps give people across the game the strength and encouragement to be themselves.”
The first man to come out as openly gay in English football was Justin Fashanwho was not at a high level when he made the announcement in 1990. Former Nottingham Forest and Norwich City striker was found hanged in a London garage at the age of 37. The Justin Fashanu Foundation calls him the “world’s first openly gay professional footballer.”
“If when I come out of the closet, other people look at me and feel like maybe they can do it too, that would be great,” Daniels told the station. Sky Sports. “If you think this kid is brave enough to do this, I’ll be able to do it too. I hate knowing people are in the same situation I was in.”
“I think if a Premier League footballer comes out, it would be amazing. I feel like I would have done my job and inspired someone else to do it. I just want it to come up from here. We should not be where we are right now,” he added.
Daniels’ revelation will join other male athletes who have confessed their homosexuality. as the former rugby player and captain of Wales, Gareth Thomas in 2009, two years before he retired, and who was an inspiration across all sports.
Another case was the first active NFL player to come out as gay, Carl Nassib, in 2021 while with the Las Vegas Raiders. The defensive end was released from his team in March.
While the first openly gay player in the NBA was Jason Collinswhile playing for the Brooklyn Nets in 2021.
One of the most prominent gay athletes in Britain is the Olympic diving champion Tom Daleywho inspired the former England soccer captain, Casey Stoney to make her election public in 2014. Today she is the coach of the San Diego Wave after managing the Manchester United women’s team.
“It took a lot of guts and courage,” Stoney tweeted to Jake Daniels, reflecting, “Good for you for breaking out of the box and being your real self! Wouldn’t it be great if we got to a place where we didn’t have to use the words ‘guts and courage’ to describe someone who is comfortable being themselves?”
LETTER FROM JAKE DANIELS AND THE BLACKPOOL
“This season has been fantastic for me on the pitch. I made my first team debut, scored 30 goals for the youth team, signed my first professional contract and shared success with my teammates, had a great run in the FA Youth Cup and lifted the Lancashire FA Pro-Youth.
But off the field I have been hiding my true self and who I really am. I’ve known all my life that I’m gay and now I feel like I’m ready to come out and be myself.
It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, have inspired me to have the courage and determination to drive change. .
To get to this point, I have had some of the best support and advice from my family, my Club, my agent and Stonewall, who have been incredibly proactive in putting my best interests and well-being first. I also trusted my team-mates in the youth team here at Blackpool, and they too accepted the news and supported my decision to open up and tell people.
I’ve hated lying my whole life and felt the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model by doing this.
There are people in the same space as me who may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell you that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in.
Being you and being happy is the most important thing.
“Blackpool Football Club have worked closely with Stonewall and the relevant football organizations to support Jake and are incredibly proud that he has reached a stage where he has the ability to express himself both on and off the pitch.
It is essential that we all promote an environment in which people feel comfortable being themselves, and that football leads the elimination of any form of discrimination and prejudice.
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