Sky News

Gay American footballer Collin Martin has shared his thoughts on why the Premier League has no openly queer players. 

Back in 2018, the talented athlete made LGBTQ+ history when he became one of the first openly gay players in the United States’ Major League Soccer organisation. 

“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,” he revealed on Twitter. 

Since that fateful day, Martin has continued to make waves for his midfielder position on the San Diego Loyal and his advocacy for LGBTQ+ inclusion in football and the greater sports world. 

In a recent interview with Daily Express, the 28-year-old athlete opened up about why England’s Premier League has yet to feature an openly queer player. 

“We don’t always know the factors for gay athletes. It could be an agent advising a player, ‘You know what, I think it’s best for you not to come out until we get you a transfer or into a different club,” he told the news outlet.

“Or it could be teammates and people at the club, with homophobia and things people say.” 

The former GAY TIMES cover star went on to say that a player’s homelife/upbringing might also be a factor in them hiding their sexuality.


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“I’ve talked in my own personal story that growing up in the church was really hard for me, so that was a barrier I had to overcome. That was the biggest obstacle between me and my parents,” he explained. 

Towards the end of his interview, the San Diego Loyal star revealed that it “pained him” that there are players who have to hide “a huge part of themselves.” 

“Maybe it’s because they don’t accept themselves first, maybe it’s because they’re fearful or so focused on football and their sport. But there’s more to life than soccer, and I think that was important for me to realise when I was first starting to explore my sexuality,” he explained.

“I just hope those players find it within themselves to keep trying to explore that part of themselves and reach out to get support if they need it to be able to live openly.” 

While the Premier League has a long way to go regarding LGBTQ+ representation, there have been a handful of UK-based players that have come out in 2022. 

Back in September, Zander Murray made history as the first Scottish senior football player to come out as gay.

A few months before his landmark announcement, Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels came out, becoming Britain’s first active openly gay male professional footballer.