Jack Daniels has become the first British footballer to come out as gay since the 1990s, according to ESPN.
The Blackpool club player announced the news, Monday, after he had recently signed a contract with the professional team, and joined him at the beginning of May.
In an interview with Sky Sports. The 17-year-old said he hopes to set an example for others and to have a gay football tournament in the future.
“Of course, I am aware that there will be a reaction to this (news) and some of it may be anti-gay, whether in the stadiums or on social media,” he added.
He stressed that “it is easy for people to target (players), as I see it during my football, where they shout at me, but they pay to watch me play and live my life and make money from it, so scream as you want, it will not make a difference.”
He said, “I’m not going to stop people from saying those things, I just need to learn how to stop that from affecting me. I hope that by going out of my way, I can become a role model and help others, who want to come out, if they want to.”
“I’m only 17, but I’ve made it clear that’s what I want to do and if, by coming out as gay, other people will look at me and feel that they can do the same, that would be amazing,” he added.
Following the announcement, the professional players representation organization “FIFPRO” said via Tweet: “We are so proud of Jack Daniels’ decision to share his story. No one should hide the truth. Thank you to Jack’s teammates and the club that supports him and the LGBT community.”
Justin Fashano was the first soccer player to come out as gay in 1990, but he committed suicide at the age of 37, 8 years after he was declared gay in front of the press.
And since Fasano, no player during the years of practicing sports has announced his homosexuality, and the former “Aston Villa” player, Thomas Heitzelberger, and the “Holl City” player, Thomas Petty, announced their sexual orientation, but after retiring, according to the “ESPN” website.