In an interview with LGBT glossy The
Advocate, soccer star Collin Martin talked about the support he's
received since coming out gay in 2018.
Martin's public coming out included a
photo of himself draped in a rainbow flag on social media during
Earlier this fall, Martin's San Diego
Loyal teammates made international headlines when they walked off the
field and forfeited a game in protest against Phoenix Risings' Junior
Flemmings' use of a homophobic slur aimed at Martin. The walkoff cost
the Loyal a spot in the playoffs.
“Obviously, walking off the field was
emotional for everyone that day,” Martin
said. “I was feeling a ton of different things, slight
embarrassment and anger among them, but in the locker room after the
game, and after losing our chance for the playoffs, it was also a lot
for my teammates to handle; however, realizing that together we took
a big stand, it became a really big deal, and it was a testament that
really showed not only their support for me, but how close we all
became over the season.”
Martin said that Flemmings called him
to apologize a few weeks later.
“On the phone I tried to tell him how
hard it was for gay people in our country, and also in his home
country of Jamaica, to be themselves and to be accepted,” Martin
said. “And, hopefully he will wipe that word out of his
Martin cited the overwhelmingly
positive response he received as proof that the time was right for
closeted gay athletes to come out.
“I don't think there is a better time
to come out,” he said. “Maybe they just want to keep that side of
them private. I'm not sure. But there's not a better time to come out
Martin is the only male out athlete in
a major American professional sports league. Robbie Rogers, the MLS'
first player to publicly come out, retired in 2017.