Blackpool F.C.’s Jake Daniels has become the only known current gay male professional footballer in Britain after coming out.
The 17-year-old spoke on his sexuality in an interview with Sky News today (May 16).
Speaking to the news outlet, he said he was ready to be himself after “such a long time of lying” about who he is.
“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,” Daniels 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 teammates, that period of overthinking everything and the stress it created has gone. It was impacting my mental health.
“Now I am just confident and happy to be myself finally.”
Daniels’ interview with Sky Sports comes after the forward made his first team debut for Blackpool earlier this month. He also assisted the team in making it to the quarter-finals in the FA Youth Cup, netting a goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
He’s the first UK male professional footballer to come out as gay since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Watch Daniels’ interview with Sky Sports News in the video below.