Jake Daniels becomes the first UK male professional footballer to come out as gay since 1990

Blackpool football player Jake Daniels has come out as gay in a landmark moment for LGBTQ+ visibility in the British game.

The 17-year-old has become the only openly gay male professional gamer in the UK.

He is also the first British male professional footballer to come out since the late Justin Fashanu 32 years ago.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I’ve been thinking for a long time about how I want to do it, when I want to do it. I know now is the time. I am ready to be myself, to be free and confident in everything.

“I feel like I’m ready to tell people my story. I want people to know the real me.”

Jake said he first realized he was “probably five or six years old” when he found out he was gay and said he had spent a lot of time “living with the lie”.

He said: “At that age you don’t really think that football and being gay don’t mix. You just think, one day when I’m older I’ll have a girlfriend and I’ll change and everything will be fine.

“But as you get older you realize you can’t just change. It does not work like that.

Jake praised his team for being “absolutely amazing” after speaking with them, saying his teammates “have been very supportive and everyone’s got my back”, adding that his captain had told him he was “so proud” of the team. of the. .

“His reaction has been brilliant. It’s the best thing I could have asked for,” she said.

Jake also hopes to be a role model for others to help them come out, adding that he thinks “it would be amazing” if a Premier League footballer came out as well.

“I feel like I would have done my job and inspired someone else to do it. I just want it to come up from here. We should not be where we are right now,” she added.

The late Justin Fashanu was the first openly gay professional footballer, as well as the first black footballer to receive a £1 million transfer fee, when he came out in 1990.

Last year, Australian player Josh Cavallo became the first current male player in world soccer to come out as gay.

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