The Minnesota United will celebrate Pride Night on Friday night and midfielder Collin Martin took the opportunity to announce that he is gay just hours before the event.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Martin said that most of his teammates were already aware and that he’s been out to his friends and family for many years.
Friday’s announcement makes Martin, 23, the only openly gay male athlete currently playing in a major professional American sports league.
Robbie Rogers was the first openly gay male athlete to play for a major professional American sports league when he returned to MLS and signed with the L.A. Galaxy shortly after coming out in 2013. Injuries forced him to retire in 2017.
Here is Martin’s full tweet:
“Tonight my team, @MNUFC , is having their Pride night. It’s an important night for me - I’ll be announcing that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. #soccerforall,” He also posted an accompanying statement and a photo of himself draped in a rainbow flag.
“I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier. As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am,” part of his statement read.
The United will wear jerseys with rainbow numbers for tonight’s game against FC Dallas.
—Field Level Media