Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin came out as gay on social media in the hours before the team's annual annual Pride Night on Friday,
Martin shared his announcement in a post on Twitter. He explained that he has been out to his family, friends and teammates for years but now felt confident to come out publicly. With his post, Martin becomes the only out active athlete in the MLS and in all men's major league sports in the U.S.
"Today, I'm proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay," Martin said in the post. "I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier."
After being signed by D.C. United in 2013, Martin played four seasons for his hometown team before being traded to Minnesota. In 18 appearances, he scored 10 goals and tallied two assists for the Loons.
Only one other player has come out while actively playing in the MLS — Robbie Rogers, a defender who came out in 2013, won the MLS Cup with the Galaxy in 2014 and retired in 2017.
While most MLS teams have adopted a Pride Night as a mainstay event each June, the league still battles issues of homophobia with fans and players. Only a month ago, the Galaxy was forced to release a statement warning fans after homophobic slurs were chanted during Pride Night.
Martin's announcement, however, was met with support by his teammates, the Minnesota sporting community and Rogers.
Minnesota United will be wearing jerseys with rainbow numbers to celebrate Pride Night.