Minnesota United soccer player Collin Martin came out as gay on Friday, just hours before the team’s Pride night. However, he did not get to play that night, despite being on the field regularly for months.
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
The decision to bench the recently out Martin caused speculation, despite the club’s public support.
Not only did Martin say he had an extra desire to play on Pride Night, he also suggested manager Adrian Heath might have been worried he would be too distracted to play well after having just come out.
But on Wednesday night, July 4, he made his first appearance on the field as an openly gay player, and the audience rose to their feet to cheer him on, many waving rainbow Minnesota United scarves.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) July 5, 2018
After the game, where Martin’s team came out victorious over Toronto with a score of 4-3, he was approached by the players and coaches and congratulated with high-fives and hugs.
After the final whistle, every #MNUFC player and coach drifted towards Martin for high-fives and hugs. Great to see the team supporting the midfielder.
— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) July 5, 2018
Martin is now the second Major League Soccer player to come out as gay, following Robbie Rogers, who came out in 2013.