Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin has come out as gay making him the only male openly gay player in a major American sports league.
The 23-year-old Chevy Chase, Md. native made the announcement on Twitter on Friday morning just hours before Minnesota United’s Pride celebration before their match against FC Dallas on Friday night.
He notes that he has been out to his family, friends and teammates “for many years.”
“As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support of who I am,” Martin posted along with a photo of himself wrapped in a Pride flag. “In light of my experience as a professional athlete, I want to take this moment to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly. June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.”
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 pic.twitter.com/cOJQXfrBiv
— Collin Martin (@martcw12) June 29, 2018
Martin, who formerly played for D.C. United, is the second Major League Soccer player to come out. Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay MLS player when he came out in 2013. Rogers retired from the MLS after his announcement but returned to join the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The MLS offered words of support to Martin with MLS commissioner Don Garber saying in a statement, “We admire Collin’s courage, and are proud of him and of the support from the soccer community.”