Collin Martin is the only actively playing ‘out’ footballer in the US professional league
Professional footballer, Collin Martin, came out as gay hours before his club played a special ‘Pride Night’ match last week. However, he was left on the subs bench and didn’t take part in the game in the end.
Neither the club, Minnesota United, nor the player have given an explanation as to why the star was left out of such an important game.
The move, though, has prompted a mix of anger and questions from fans and commentators. They want to know why Collin Martin was left out after coming out ahead of the match against rival club, FC Dallas.
Collins had tweeted earlier in the day that it was going to be an important night, not least for himself.
Proud to be an out gay professional footballer
He said he would be announcing his coming out and ended by writing: ‘June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.’
LGBTI sports news site, OutSport.com, reported that the decision to bench a gay player on the day of a Pride match had raised eyebrows. However, the site also went to great lengths to say there was no evidence to suggest any kind discrimination played a role.
‘Any insinuation that Martin has been rejected by the team, or that he is being punished for being gay, is completely false and based on no facts. Zero.’ The site commented.
OutSport.com and Minnesota United’s fan site E Pluribus Loonum are both owned by SBNation.
The latter’s editor in chief quoted Martin saying in a post match interview that perhaps the team’s manager felt the coming out story had proven too much of a distraction.
‘Maybe he thought I had a lot going on today,’ said Martin. ‘Obviously, I want to play, but most importantly I just wanted us to win.’
The site reported that Martin was besieged by messages and calls from media around the world immediately after posting his coming out story. This, is suggests, could have been the reason the star was not used in the game.
As reported by Gay Star News last week, the 23-year-old is the only active professional male US athlete to come out from any of the major leagues since Michael Sam came out before the NFL draft.