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Soccer

Jake Daniels receives praise for coming out

The teenage soccer player became the first English player to openly announce his homosexuality, hoping it will encourage others to not hide their sexuality.

Jennifer Bubel
Update:

In this society, if your sexuality is anything but heterosexual, it merits a “coming out”, an announcement to the world, or your friends and family at least, that your sexuality differs from what is considered the “norm”. But this is especially true in the world of male sports, where being gay is still considered taboo. Because of this fact, it truly does take courage to announce one’s sexuality to the world as a male athlete.

But that’s exactly what 17-year-old Jake Daniels just did, becoming the first openly gay English soccer player. He has received tremendous support from other soccer players, fans, and clubs. One Twitter user eloquently spoke about it, writing, “Coming out as a professional sports player is not something to be underestimated. We often talk flippantly about courage, but it’s in moments like these that we see it captured in its rawest and truest form. Jake Daniels has just made thousands of young people feel accepted and represented.”

“It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality,” said Daniels. “But I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.

Josh Cavallo became the only top-flight professional openly gay soccer player in history when he announced it to the world in October 2021. As was the case with Cavallo’s announcement, Daniels’ too is proof that society is progressing towards a more accepting one in general, but also that there is a long road ahead.

Daniels hopes that by being open about his sexuality, it will encourage others to do the same, rather than feeling ashamed and pretending. The praise he has received so far seems to show a society more open and willing to celebrate people of all sexualities. English soccer player for Tottenham Hotspur Harry Kane wrote on Twitter, “Massive credit to you, @Jake_Daniels11 and the way your friends, family, club, and captain have supported you. Football should be welcoming for everyone.”

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