BLACKPOOL striker Jake Daniels has become the first British player to come out as Gay since Justin Fashanu.
Daniels, who plays for Blackpool announced he is gay today in a trailblazing moment for the British football – seen as the last taboo for homosexuals.
The 17-year-old forward is starting his career playing with second division club Blackpool, whose season has ended.
He said: “For a long time I´ve thought I would have to hide my truth because I wanted to be, and now I am, a professional footballer,”.
“I asked myself if I should wait until I´ve retired to come out. No other player in the professional game here is out.”
The only openly gay man currently playing in a top division in world football is Josh Cavallo of Australian team Adelaide United.
The 22-year-old midfielder made the announcement in October ahead of their season.
The only openly gay man to have played in English football’s professional leagues was Justin Fashanu, who was not active at a high level when he made the announcement in 1990.
The former Nottingham Forest and Norwich City striker was found hanged in a London garage at age 37. The Justin Fashanu Foundation calls him the “world’s first openly gay professional footballer.”
Daniels said he hopes to be a role model.
“I am only 17 but I am clear that this is what I want to do and if, by me coming out, other people look at me and feel maybe they can do it as well, that would be brilliant,” he said.
It is a rarity in world sports for men to announce they are LBTQ+.
Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas came out in 2009, two years before he retired.
The first active NFL player to come out as gay was Carl Nassib in 2021 while he was at the Las Vegas Raiders. The defensive end was released by the team in March.
The first openly gay player in the NBA was Jason Collins while playing for the Brooklyn Nets in 2021.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press