Former soccer star Thomas Beattie has announced that he's gay.

Beattie, who played for teams in North America, Europe, and Asia, came out in an Instagram post and an ESPN essay.

“It's time to share something very personal to me,” he wrote on Instagram. “It's easier to sit in silence but the real challenge is to speak up and for me it's time [to] live my truth and hopefully affect change in some way.”

“I am a brother, son, friend, and I'm gay,” he added. “It took me a long time to accept who I am and I hope it is a little easier for the next generation.”

Beattie, 33, was forced to retired at 29 when he suffered a life-threatening head injury in 2015. In his essay, Beattie said that the injury changed his outlook.

“I told myself, If I get through this, I'm going to allow myself the time and space to embrace who I really am,” he wrote. “Life is so fragile, and the things that once mattered no longer did. No amount of money, houses, cars, or achievements in football was ever going to bring me contentment if I didn't look inward and understand my feelings.”

Beattie grew up in England and moved to the United States at 19 to attend college. His 10-year soccer career included stints with clubs in Scotland, Canada, and Singapore.