Jake Daniels became a household name almost overnight, and it’s all down to his bravery.
The Blackpool player is the first active male professional footballer in Britain to publicly come out as gay in over 30 years. To do that at the age of 17 is just amazing.
I thought it was great and what impressed me was how his club and teammates supported him. That’s the thing about the next generation, who now feel more comfortable and confident to come out and share their story.
There will now be other people in football or involved in football who will look up to him and think, ‘Wow, he’s 17 and he was brave enough to do that.’
The support he gets from other footballers around the world will also make a big difference. Anyone in a similar position will know that they will have that support to move forward just like Jake.
I’m very proud of him for doing what he did and for being able to live his true life, his best life. I’m sure he doesn’t need any advice from me as he seems to get a lot of help and plenty of support from his fellow footballers at Blackpool.
But if he ever does, I’d be happy to speak to him. At the moment he is doing amazing things himself, creating changes for the better.
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I read he had a tough few months behind the scenes but after having those conversations with his manager, family and teammates, he went out and scored four goals in his next game.
It just shows what happens to someone when that weight is lifted. The pressure of not being able to be yourself is enormous. I only had to experience it briefly when I was younger, but that was enough for me to decide I didn’t want to do it anymore.
Of course there is still so much to do, and the same goes for other sports. In boxing, Orlando Cruz has had just one gay male professional fighter in recent years.
I think these conversations are difficult to have, I think that’s an area that needs work. The boxing world is very tolerant and inclusive, but it can still be a very macho environment.
It’s still a blue-collar sport and I can imagine it would be very difficult for a man to break through in boxing. But that’s something that needs to be worked on, there needs to be more support out there for people to come out and talk and hopefully that will help normalize things further.
Metro.co.uk celebrates 50 years of pride
This year we are celebrating 50 years of Pride so it only seems fitting that Metro.co.uk goes above and beyond in our ongoing LGBTQ+ support with a wealth of content that not only celebrates all things Pride, but also share stories, take time to reflect and raise awareness for the community this Pride month.
MORE: Find all of Metro.co.uk’s Pride coverage here
And we also have some big names on board to help us. From a list of famous guest editors taking over the site for a week, including Rob Rinder, Nicholas Adams, Peter Tatchel, Kimberly Hart Simpson, John White, Anna Richardson and Dr Ranjwe will also have the likes Sir Ian McKellen and drag race stars the vivienne, Lawrence Chaney and Tia Kofi offer their insights.
During Pride Month, which runs June 1-30, Metro.co.uk will also support Kyiv Pride, a Ukrainian charity forced to work harder than ever to defend the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in times of conflict protection. To learn more about their work and what you can do to support them, click here.
https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/08/nicola-adams-a-message-to-jake-daniels-and-any-other-sportsmen-and-women-wanting-to-take-that-step-16770668/ Nicola Adams: A message to Jake Daniels and all other athletes who want to take this step