This article was published on October 16th, 2019
Game on! Whether the sports world is ready for it or not, a new trend has athletes coming out as LGBT to the world! Olympic champion Kerron Clement has recently come out is gay, NFL free agent Ryan Russell came out as bisexual at the end of August, and half of the women’s US soccer team are lesbians. What’s up with all of this Tom Daley-ing all of a sudden?
The words “gay” and “professional sports” aren’t often seen in the same sentence in America, but the times are a changing. Before Gus Kenworthy, Adam Rippon, Clement, and Russell, there was Michael Sam, the first out gay man to be in the draft for the National Football League in the US.
Michael Sam played American football for the University of Missouri, before being up for the NFL draft. His story was inspired by athletes like soccer player Robbie Rodgers, who came out the year prior after retiring from the sport. Sam, Rodgers, out NBA player Jason Collins, figure skater Johnny Weir, and the other queer athletes have inspired seven other college football players in 2019 to come out. It’s stories like theirs that are changing the face of sports.
Thanks to the likes of people like Sam, Collins, Rodgers, and gaythletes before them including Billie Jean King, Glenn Burke, Greg Louganis, and other trail blasting queer people, athletes like Clement feel the time is right to be open publicly about who they are.
Kerron Clement joins the LGBT club as its newest member from the professional athletic world. A four-time world champion, Clement has won several gold and silver Olympic medals. More importantly, he is bringing a face to LGBT athletes and Olympians.
As sports obsessed as the United States is, it is important to have a seat at the table and be represented in all sports and outlets. The future looks bright as a new crop of athletes who are stepping up to the podium and stepping out of the closet, into the gay arena!