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Blackpool’s Jake Daniels announces he is gay, becomes first active men’s footballer to do so in UK

Jake Daniels scored 30 goals for the Blackpool youth team this season.

Abhishek Sandikar Author

Updated - 17 May 2022 1:28 pm

Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels has recently opened up about his sexuality and has come out as gay. Daniels made this announcement during an interview with the team’s website. In the interaction, he talked about how he has been hiding his sexuality for the entirety of his life and was inspired by other footballers like Josh Cavallo and Matt Morton. 

Daniels said, “I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself. It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.”

He then talked about how everyone around him has supported him in this decision and embraced the news with love and respect. He said, “In reaching this point, I’ve had some of the best support and advice from my family, my Club, my agent and Stonewall, who have all been incredibly proactive in putting my interests and welfare first. I have also confided in my teammates in the youth team here at Blackpool, and they too have embraced the news and supported my decision to open up and tell people.”

The 17-year-old continued addressing how he wants to be ‘a role model’ and help other individuals who want to open up about their sexuality. He expressed, “I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this.”

“There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in. You being you, and being happy, is what matters most.”

“I can’t imagine how difficult it’s been,” Neville

Former Manchester United and England player Gary Neville praised Jake Daniels for his courage in coming out as Gay and deemed this moment of great importance in English football. He said, “We’ve both been in dressing rooms for many, many years and this would seem like the unthinkable. I can’t imagine how difficult it’s been. It’s a day of great importance for obviously Jake and his family but also for English football and it will go down in history. It’s a big, big moment this.”

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