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Minnesota United midfielder Colin Martin has announced he's gay in a touching Twitter post.
His announcement makes him the only openly gay male athlete to be currently playing in one of the US' major sports leagues - which seems kind of shocking in 2018, although a similar situation exists across most of the world's top sports.
In the post he thanked his teammates for supporting him and encouraged others in a similar position to come out, adding that he believes 'sport will welcome them'.
Tonight my team, @MNUFC , is having their Pride night. It's an important night for me - I'll be announcing that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. #soccerforall pic.twitter.com/cOJQXfrBiv
- Collin Martin (@martcw12) June 29, 2018
He wrote: "I have been out as a gay man for many years to my family and friends, and this includes my teammates.
"I have played Major League Soccer for 6 seasons: 4 seasons with DC United and 2 seasons with Minnesota United. Today, I'm proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay."
He also shared a photo of himself wrapped in a rainbow flag.
LA Galaxy's Robbie Rogers came out back in 2013 but retired from the sport last year - a number of other athletes, including basketball player Jason Collins, have previously announced they are gay but all have since retired. This means Martin is the only male gay athlete currently out while in a major US league.
Commenting on Martin's post, Rogers wrote: "Love this! So, so inspiring thank you Collin! Good luck this season, except against the LA Galaxy."
Martin's dad, also commented to say:
Collin proud of you and what you stand for. Love dad
- Gerard Martin, MD (@gerard_md) June 29, 2018
Is someone cutting onions?
The post has been retweeted 16,000 times and liked 76,000 and, other than the odd bellend, most of its two thousand comments have been positive.
Well done! You're an inspiration to so many out there who follow soccer. Have a great career and an even better life as an openly gay man. Let me tell you, it's wonderful!
- Thomas Hitzlsperger (@ThomasHitz) June 29, 2018
Love this Collin. You've got support in SLC. #SoccerForAll
- Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) June 29, 2018
Yes Collin!!!! Welcome to the family. You're going to help so many kids. Playing high-level soccer until college, I internally begged for someone like you to come along. Thanks for being you :heart::yellow_heart::green_heart::blue_heart::purple_heart:
- Merts (@ConnerMertens) June 29, 2018
Enjoy Pride, mate. It's not like you've got a World Cup to worry about, eh?
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