Blackpool’s Jake Daniels comes out openly as gay2 min read
Young Blackpool forward Jake Daniels has come out as gay in an interview with Sky Sports, in the process becoming the UK’s first out gay male professional in 32 years.
The 17-year-old, who made his first-team debut earlier this month, explained that a desire not to continue living a lie had prompted his decision and he is now “confident and happy to be myself finally”.
“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 said. “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 team-mates, that period of overthinking everything and the stress it created has gone. It was impacting my mental heath. Now I am just confident and happy to be myself finally.”
Talking about his teammates’ reaction to the news, he continued: “Blackpool have been absolutely amazing too. I am with them every day and I felt safe.
“My team-mates have all been so supportive about it and everyone has had my back. They’ve been asking tons of questions, they have all been intrigued and their reaction has been brilliant. It’s the best thing I could have asked for.
“Of course, everyone was kind of shocked in a way and they were asking why I didn’t tell them earlier. That was a great reaction because it showed how much they cared.”