Collin Martin becomes first openly gay, active player in MLS history

By : Jeremy Brener
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Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin came out via Twitter June 29, making history as the only openly gay, active player in Major League Soccer, and the big five major pro sports leagues.

“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,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, 23, has played for Minnesota United for the past two seasons and spent the previous four with D.C. United. Martin’s coming out comes right before Minnesota hosts their Pride Night against FC Dallas tonight at TCF Bank Stadium.

In the tweet, Martin posted a picture of himself wrapped in a rainbow flag along with the following statement:

“Tonight my team, Minnesota United, is having their Pride night. It’s an important night for me — I’ll be announcing for the first time publicly that I am openly gay in Major League Soccer. I have been out as a gay man for many years to my family and friends, and this includes my teammates. I have played Major League Soccer for 6 seasons: 4 seasons with DC United and 2 seasons with Minnesota United. Today, I’m proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay. 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. 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 the 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.”

Martin is the second player in MLS history to come out as gay — Robbie Rogers came out in 2013 — but the first to come out while still an active player.

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