SALEM, Ore.—A Willamette University athlete on Jan. 27 became the first known college football player to publicly come out.
“It is important to me to tell you all that I, Conner Mertens, am bisexual,” wrote Conner Mertens on his Twitter page. “If that makes you uncomfortable, I refuse to apologize for being who I am.”
Mertens, who grew up in Kennewick, Wash., further discussed his decision to come out as bisexual with Outsports.com.
“I hate the stereotypes that go along with liking the same sex,” Mertens told the LGBT sports website. “You don’t have to follow the stereotype to be this way. I made the decision that if I could help anyone else avoid feeling the way I felt, I would.”
Willamette University in a statement said it “fully supports” Mertens and “respects his contribution to a more humane and just world.”