Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin announced on Friday that he is gay. Martin, 23, is the only openly gay male athlete active in a major professional American sports league after LA Galaxy striker Robbie Rogers resigned last November
Martin wrote in a statement on Twitter that many His teammates have long known about his sexuality.
"My team, Minnesota United, has their Pride Night tonight, it's an important night for me – I'm going to announce for the first time that I'm an open gay player in Major League Soccer .
Tonight, my crew has @MNUFC their Pride Night .It's an important night for me ̵1; I'll announce that I'm an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. #soccerforall pic.twitter.com/cOJQXfrBiv
– Collin Martin (@ martcw12) June 29, 2018  "I've been going to my family and friends for many years as a gay man, and this includes my teammates. I played Major League Soccer for 6 seasons: 4 seasons with DC United and 2 seasons with Minnesota United. Today I am proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay. I have just received the kindness and acceptance of all in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to appear in public a lot easier.
"While celebrating the Pride Night, I would like to thank my teammates for their unconditional support. Given my experience as a professional athlete, I would like to use this moment to encourage others who are doing sports, both professionally and privately, to sport them June is a proud month, and I'm proud to play for it, Pride, and play as a gay man. "
Minnesota United will wear rainbow-printed jerseys while the Pride Night team for the Friday's game against FC Dallas celebrates.
Martin came through the DC United Academy and played sparingly for his first team, appearing in 32 league games in four seasons following his MLS debut in 2013, as well as in the US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League
DC Martin moved to Minnesota before the 2017 season, and has found more playing time in the last few weeks. He has been running three MLS games since the beginning of May and two in the US Open Cup.
"We admire Collins courage and are proud of him and the support of the football community," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a statement.
Martin is a former US youth national team player playing with the U14-U20 national team. In 2013 he played at the Toulon tournament in France with the U20.