As 2019’s annual Pride month commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, people from communities the world over and those who identify as LGBTQIA+ have used the occasion as a platform for solidarity — and for their voices to be heard.
One such individual is professional soccer player Collin Martin, the midfielder defending for Minnesota United.
Little more than a year ago, Martin became the only active male team sports athlete in the five American major leagues to come out as openly gay, something he hoped would ultimately inspire other athletes to do the same.
“Around this time last year I started to think, ‘It’d be a shame if you didn’t come out while you were playing,’” reminisced Martin in the video above. “I didn’t know how much people needed this story, and I happen to be in an industry where there’s not enough representation.”
Luckily for Martin, MLS has been a huge supporter of Pride, and clubs even host their own Pride nights at the local level. This is all part of MLS’ ongoing Soccer for All campaign, which showcases the collective efforts taking place throughout the league to foster more inclusive communities. adidas and MLS have also collaborated on a stylish Pride training collection, which all clubs have been rocking during pre-match warm-ups to show support.
Looking back at the importance of Martin’s decision, watch him discuss the impact it’s had, why it was the right time for him, and the responses he’s received from fans who needed to hear his message.
Check out our initiative on Identity & Representation, a six-month-long project highlighting different facets of identity and how they shape the practices, conventions, and conversations happening in the Highsnobiety world. Head here for the full series.