Jake Daniels overwhelmed with support after becoming the UK’s first active male professional footballer to come out as gay | Football News Sky News

Jake Daniels says he is overwhelmed by the love and support he has received since the teenager became the first active male professional footballer in the UK to publicly come out as gay.

On Monday, Daniels, 17, said sky sports He felt the time had come to tell his story at the end of a season in which he scored more than 30 goals and made his professional debut in the Championship.

The positive response to his announcement was heartening for the Blackpool striker, who took to Instagram to express his gratitude.

“I’ve taken some time over the past few days to digest everything that’s happened and collect my thoughts,” she posted. “I have been overwhelmed by all the messages of love and support I have received. It’s incredibly moving.

“I just want to say a big thank you to @blackpoolfc for everything over the last couple of months, it’s been amazing.

“To my family and friends for giving me the strength to move forward in my life. I owe you so much.

“To @skysports_tim for giving me the confidence to be myself – your understanding and sensitivity throughout our time together has been immense.

To (agent) @billybingham03 and @astrapartnersfootball for their guidance throughout – they have been amazing to me and my family.

“And many thanks to (Leeds businessman) @terrygeorge for his generosity and looking after me over the last few days.

“I wake up this morning proud of what I have done, but even more proud to be part of such a welcoming and supportive community.

“Together we can end the stigma and move football forward. »

Klopp: “Football will support Daniels”

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises Jake Daniels for his bravery after coming out publicly as gay. Klopp hopes the soccer community supports Daniels on his journey.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he was proud of Daniels for making the brave decision to come out.

“Fantastic. When I saw him speak, I couldn’t believe he was 17 years old.

“The entire football community will support him. Whatever we can do. I don’t know him, but I’m very proud of him. I am very happy for him. »

Prince William: I hope Daniels helps break down barriers

Prince William, president of the Football Association, also tweeted his support for Daniels on Tuesday afternoon.

He wrote: “Football should be a game for everyone.

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Sports Media LGBT+ founder Jon Holmes discusses the positive reaction and outpouring of support after Blackpool’s Jake Daniels came out as gay.

“What Jake has done takes courage and hopefully will help break down barriers that have no place in our society.

“I hope your decision to speak out gives others the confidence to do the same. »

Football has a place for everyone’

Daniels cited Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo, the only senior male professional footballer who is gay, as an inspiration behind his decision to speak out, a point the Australian said was a “wonderful feeling” after hearing the news.

He said: “As Adelaide United and I prepare for the A-League semi-final, I want to stop and take a moment to acknowledge Jake’s announcement and say how sorry I am. Proud of his bravery! It’s a wonderful feeling to know that my story helped guide Jake to be himself.

“It’s heartwarming to see the millions of people my story has touched and inspired around the world, and to see how it helps to advance the global game at every level, it’s fantastic. This world and the game of football has a place to everyone. Love always wins. »

Grealish: A “big step forward”

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Manchester City’s Jack Grealish praises Blackpool’s Jake Daniels’ decision to come out as gay and says it is a huge step forward for football.

Manchester City striker Jack Grealish said Daniels’ decision to leave is a “huge step forward”.

In an exclusive interview with sky newsGrealish praised Daniels for coming out after “such a long period of lying.”

“I think it shows a lot of courage and no one can disagree with that. I think it’s absolutely brilliant and a huge step forward,” she said.

“I think that now, with fingers crossed, this could be a big step forward for everyone because football is for everyone. »

Rodgers: Another real step forward | Vieira: It shows that things are looking up.

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers believes Blackpool’s Jake Daniels is an inspiration for football and society after publicly coming out as gay.

leicester chief Brendan Rodgers He said: “It was another big step forward, not only in football but in society in general.

“For Jake, I’m sure he woke up this morning feeling liberated and free to lead his life as he wishes. You’ve seen the reaction of many people around the sport – football has been growing for many years and for Jake and others young people who want to go out, I hope this is the beginning. »

Crystal Palace Manager patrick saw He added: “I think it takes a lot of courage to come out and speak up. The support that he has received so far from football and society in general has been really positive. It just shows that the world is getting better. It’s good and if it can be a positive example, that’s good.

“Football is no different from our society. We are in a better place than 30 years ago and it is still difficult to put football in a box because it reflects our society… although there is still a lot to do.

“Education is the basis of mutual respect. Of course, the power of the game allows us to educate most people. We can use football to promote education. There is still a lot to do and hopefully in the next two years. , we will be in an even better place. »

Jones hopes Daniels will encourage rugby players to come out

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England Rugby head coach Eddie Jones believes Jake Daniels should be congratulated and will encourage other athletes to do the same.

The reaction of the sports world was not limited to football either. England Rugby head coach Eddie Jones praised Daniels, saying he hoped he could inspire rugby union, where there are also few openly gay players.

“The first thing I would do would be to congratulate [Daniels] to be so brave and courageous, because the first one who does it opens the possibility for others to do it,” he said. Sky sports news.

“He should be congratulated, and if he encourages a rugby player in a similar situation to do so, we are grateful to that player. »

“We haven’t had a moment like this in a generation”

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Liz Ward, Program Director at Stonewall, Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ human rights organization, explains the significance of Jake Daniels’ decision to come out as gay.

Liz Ward, director of programs at Stonewall, Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ human rights organisation, described it as “such a special moment for all of us who love games”.

“What a moment,” Ward said. Sports news from heaven. “I think my cheeks really hurt from all the smiles I’ve been doing for the past few days.

“We haven’t had a moment like this in a generation, and I think the last time it happened, the world was in a different place and football was in a different place.

“To be able to sit here and talk about this brave and fantastic 17-year-old boy, who is fantastic at football by the way, to be able to live his true personality and be free to be himself in the world of football. It is such an important and special moment for all of us who love the game and society. »

How Morton Helped Daniels: Jake the Inspiration, Not Me!

Daniels was inspired by Matt Morton, a ninth-tier player and manager from Thetford Town, before deciding to come out publicly after seeing his own history of being an openly gay man in football.

But Morton, who offered his support to Daniels in the months leading up to his departure, says he is the teenager who should be congratulated for the courage he has shown this week.

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have praised Jake Daniels after the 17-year-old striker came out as gay, describing his announcement as a momentous day in English football history.

“I’m not the inspiration, he is him,” Morton told Sky Sports News. “He is a 17-year-old boy who had the courage to go on national television, just signed a professional contract and announced to the world that he is gay.

“It’s completely inspiring on a whole different level for me. I talk to Jake almost daily, most recently probably weekly, since earlier this year when he contacted me through Instagram.

“It’s been fantastic trying to help Jake just by seeing my story, being able to relate to it, communicate with me, and then spend the last few months supporting me through every problem under the sun you can imagine to get her.” Head over this and make your own decision about leaving him or not, as the case may be. »

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Tim Thornton says a big part of Jake Daniels’ decision to come out was “feeling free and helping others,” and says the striker has “absolute clarity” in telling his story.

“Daniels will be an inspiration for many more”

DCMS Committee Chairman Julian Knight MP added: “Jake Daniels has shown immense courage in telling his story and he will be an inspiration to many other players and fans who sadly feel they cannot be themselves in a game that should be. for all. More than three decades since the last male professional footballer in this country felt comfortable enough to do so suggests an ongoing culture of homophobia in football that is woefully out of step with modern times.

“The Committee has previously called for changes to the Football Related Offenses Act to make homophobic abuse a criminal offence. Jake’s brave act may now be a turning point for game makers and provide a new catalyst to eliminate the prejudice faced by LGBT people. people on the field and in the stands. »

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