Justin Fashanu Tom Daley Josh Cavallo Jake Daniels Britain Australia model Justin Fashanu Tom Daley Josh Cavallo Jake Daniels Britain Australia

Jake Daniels Becomes First U.K. Pro Soccer Player To Come Out In 30 Years

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Blackpool forward Jake Daniels, 17, is the UK’s first male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay in more than 30 years after Justin Fashanu did in 1990. “Off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am,” the teen said in a statement on Blackpool’s website. “I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself.” He added that he was inspired by other gay athletes like Australian pro soccer player Josh Cavallo and Olympic diver Tom Daley. “I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in.

I want to be a role model myself by doing this,” Daniels said. “There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality.

I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in.” In an interview with Sky Sports News, Daniels said that he thought he had to hide his sexual orientation while pursuing professional soccer.

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