Blackpool player Jake Daniels experienced his coming out on Monday. The seventeen-year-old Englishman is the first footballer in England to do so since Justin Fashanu in 1990, with statements of support from all over the world of football.
Daniels made his first appearance in the Championship this season. “It‘s been a fantastic season for me with my debut, thirty goals in youth, my first professional contract and successes in the FA Youth Cup. But off the field, I’ve hidden my real self,” he writes on the club site. “I‘ve known I’m gay all my life. Now I‘m ready to come out for that too.”
In the 90s, it ended dramatically with Fashanu, who did not feel accepted for his orientation. After being suspected of sexual assault, he committed suicide. In 2020, a Premier League player announced that he is a homosexual, although he did not want to reveal his identity. Last year, Australian Josh Cavallo did. “This is a step for me, but I’m inspired by the likes of Josh Cavallo and Matt Morton. They, too, had the courage and determination to bring about change.”
A message from Jake Daniels. https://t.co/R2wEsniXKV pic.twitter.com/dczNyktSad
— Blackpool FC (@BlackpoolFC) May 16, 2022
“There are people in this world in the same place as me who may not feel comfortable speaking out for their sexuality,” Daniels continues. “I just want to tell them that you don‘t have to change who you are or who you should be, just to fit in. You are you, that’s the most important thing.”
Daniels received praise from all over England for the courage about his coming out.
Jake, you are an inspiration to us all and we fully support your decision to be open about this part of yourself.Football is a game for all, with diversity at its heart, and this is a hugely positive step as we strive to build an inclusive game that we can all be proud of. https://t.co/1Zm8RMeMbw
— The FA (@FA) May 16, 2022
You‘re an inspiration to us all, Jake 💙 https://t.co/iXvlIeYIqJ
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 16, 2022
We’re proud of you, Jake! 💙
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) May 16, 2022