Jake Daniels Becomes First Openly Gay UK Footballer Since 1990
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Jake Daniels Becomes First Openly Gay UK Footballer Since 1990

Cicely McFarlane May 21, 2022

Jack Daniels is a 17-year role model for millions, after coming out as gay this week. He plays for Blackpool and is the first UK male footballer to openly come out since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

This is an extremely brave move for the teenager, as the football world can be a cruel and intimidating place to step forward and truly be yourself.

Interviews with Daniels revealed that he knew he was gay since the age of six. He stated: ‘The time is right to be me, be free and be confident’.

This is an extremely important time within UK football and is a vital message of self-acceptance and love that should be spread to people everywhere.

A role model for many

There has been much debate about how many gay footballers there are in the men’s game. Given the sheer number of players down the years, plenty would have identified as gay. And yet, until now, it was 32 years since the last openly gay player stood tall. This highlights the bravery Daniels had to step forward about his sexuality, after so many before him stayed silent.

Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Daniels also revealed the support and relief he felt when he told his friends and family about his sexuality. He even stated that he scored four goals the following day, which ‘shows how much of a weight off the shoulders it was’.

This demonstrates that when, hiding his true self, he was tense and not playing to his best ability. Yet, when he was truthful and spoke out about who he truly was, he performed better than ever. This sends a message that nothing can beat honesty and being who you truly are.

The support of others

Hopefully, this is an example for people in a similar position to Daniels, and those contemplating coming out. He has highlighted the strength he now feels and the happiness that is yet to come.

The player has commented on the ‘amazing’ support that his teammates have given him. This is exactly what we would hope news like this receives.

This shows the acceptance of anyone, no matter who they are and who they love. His captain made a point of saying that he was ‘so proud’ of Daniels and the example he has set both for future generations and those in the footballing world today.

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Cicely McFarlane is a 23-year-old Graduate from Cardiff University. She has an undergraduate degree in History, and has just completed her master’s in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Whilst studying, she contributed to the Student Newspaper, as well as the student magazine named Quench. This fuelled her passion for writing further and enjoys reviews on the latest trends and TV shows, as well as commenting on important issues that occur today. She is a content writer for Freshered Magazine for over a year where she specifically tailors and creates articles for the Freshered audience. She is excited to grow as a journalist as she continues to expand her topics and horizons.