Speaking to Sky Sports, Daniels said he hopes he can become a role model for others.
A 17-year-old footballer has announced that he’s gay.
Blackpool’s Jake Daniels has now become the first active openly gay professional male footballer in the UK since 1990.
He announced that he’s gay on Monday.
The 17-year-old recently signed a professional contract with the Championship team and made his club debut earlier this month.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Daniels said he hopes he can become a role model for others and hopes there will be a gay Premier League footballer in the future.
“Of course I am aware that there will be a reaction to this and some of it will be homoph#bic, maybe in a stadium and on social media,” he said.
‘I just processed and processed every day about how I want to do it, when I want to do it and I feel like now is just the right time – you know I feel like I’m ready to tell people about my story.
‘I want people to know the real me and lying all the time just isn’t what I wanted to do.
‘It has been a struggle but now I do feel I am ready to be myself and be free and just be confident with it all.’ he stated.
“It’s an easy thing for people to target. The way I see it is that I am playing football and they are shouting stuff at me, but they are paying to watch me play football and I am living my life and making money from it. So shout what you want, it’s not going to make a difference.
“I won’t stop people from saying that stuff, I just need to learn how to not let it affect me. I am hoping that by coming out, I can be a role model, to help others come out if they want to.
“I am only 17 but I am clear that this is what I want to do and if, by me coming out, other people look at me and feel maybe they can do it as well, that would be brilliant.”
After Daniels’ announcement, professional players representative organisation FIFPRO tweeted out words of support, saying: “We are so proud of Jake Daniels for deciding to share his story. No one should ever have to hide who they are. Thanks to Jake’s teammates and club who stand beside him and the LGBTQIA+ community.”