Mitch Eby, a junior defensive end on
the Chapman University football team, came out gay to teammates in a
Eby's coming out story was chronicled
in an Outsports.com
feature published Monday.
Eby first approached head coach Bob
“He thought it wouldn't be a big deal
at all to my teammates,” Eby said. “He thought they'd say 'okay'
and move on. It wasn't a big deal to him whether I told the team or
not, but he just said if I wanted to do it, I should do it for
With his coach's approval, Eby
addressed the entire team on March 18.
“I came up here today to talk to you
guys about something that I've been dealing with for quite a while.
It's something personal that I've always thought I could just bury
away, but I can't,” Eby told his teammates. “We live life so
worried about how other people view us that we forget about
ourselves. I can no longer go on living in fear, repressing myself
because of how society may view me. I can no longer lie to my
friends, family and teammates. It's time I lived life for myself for
“With that being said, I am ready to
share with you all that I am gay.”
“It has taken me years to accept
myself for who I truly am, so it's irrational to expect everybody to
unconditionally accept me right away. However, the one thing that I
hope that I can count on from each of you, my teammates, is your
respect. Your respect as a friend, your respect as a teammate, and
your respect as a man.”
"Being gay may be something that
defines me, but it does not limit me. It is such a small part of who
I am. I am the same person you all know, no different than before.
I'm still the kid that is obsessed with pretty much anything having
to do with sports, I'm still the kid that some of you love to call
stupid nicknames like ‘mom' and ‘hot dog,' and I'm still someone
who will continue to go out there every day and push myself and push
my teammates to be the best football team around. I am your teammate,
I am your classmate and I am your brother. And I know that my
brothers will continue to stand by my side, no matter what.”
Eby said response has been