Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels has come out, becoming Britain’s first active openly gay male professional footballer. “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,” he told Sky Sports News. “I asked myself if I should wait until I’ve retired to come out.
No other player in the professional game here is out. “However, I knew that would lead to a long time of lying and not being able to be myself or lead the life that I want to. “Since I’ve come out to my family, my club and my teammates, that period of overthinking everything and the stress it created has gone.
It was impacting my mental health. “Now I am just confident and happy to be myself finally.” Daniels, who is 17-years-old, has scored a total of 30 goals for the under-19s this season alone and signed a professional contract with Blackpool in February.
He said he has known he was gay since the age of five or six, but used to believe his career and sexuality were incompatible. “So all the way through my life I was like, ‘It’s fine, you’ll get a girlfriend when you’re older and you’ll change and it’ll be fine’,” he added.