Minnesota United’s Collin Martin Comes Out, Becomes Only Active Openly Gay Male Athlete In Major U.S. Professional Sports

The 23-year-old Minnesota United midfielder made the announcement Friday on Twitter and was quickly supported by the league.

Collin Martin, a 23-year-old Minnesota United midfielder, announced via Twitter that he is gay on Friday morning. 

The announcement makes Martin the only active openly gay male athlete in major U.S. professional sports. LA Galaxy winger Robbie Rogers had previously held that mantle, but he retired in November. 

Collin Martin wrote on Twitter:

"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. I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier.

"As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am. In light of my experience as a professional athlete, I want to take this moment to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly. June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man."

Martin’s announcement comes as Minnesota is set to host FC Dallas on Friday night for its fifth annual Pride Match, coinciding with Pride Month, which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. The Loons will wear rainbow-colored numbers, the captain’s armband will be rainbow colors and players will enter the pitch surrounded by massive rainbow scarves. The numbers will be similar to those worn but the USMNT and USWNT in friendlies earlier this month.

Collin Martin is a native of Maryland. He played one year with Wake Forest before joining D.C. United as a homegrown player in 2013. He joined Minnesota United in January of 2017. Martin has made six appearances — three starts — in MLS play this season in addition to two appearances in the U.S. Open Cup. He had an assist against Houston on April 28. 

The announcement from Collin Martin has been met with support from around the league.

“We admire Collin's courage, and are proud of him and of the support from the soccer community,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

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