Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he is proud of Jake Daniels for becoming the first active professional player to publicly come out as gay since 1990 and that “the whole football community will support him”.
On Monday, 17-year-old Daniels said sky game He felt it was time to tell his story at the end of a season in which he scored over 30 goals and made his professional debut in the championship.
He now hopes to be a role model for other players, if they so desire, with people from the football world and feel comfortable enough to come out to show their support for the teen.
clopped, addressed sky game After Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Southampton, he said: “Fantastic. When I saw him speak, I couldn’t believe he was 17.
“The whole football community will support him. Whatever we can do. I don’t know him but I am really proud of him. I’m really happy for him.”
Prince William: Hope Daniels helps break down barriers
Football Association President Prince William also tweeted in support of Daniel on Tuesday afternoon.
He wrote: “Football should be a sport for all.
“What Jake has done takes courage and will hopefully help break down barriers that have no place in our society.
“I hope his decision to speak up gives others the confidence to do the same.”
How Morton Helped Daniels: Inspire Jake, Not Me!
Daniels was inspired by Thetford Town’s ninth-tier player-manager Matt Morton before deciding to come out publicly after seeing his history of being an openly gay man in football.
But Morton, who offered his support in the months before Daniels came out, says he is the teenager who should be congratulated for the bravery shown this week.
“I’m not the inspiration, it’s him,” Morton told Sky Sports News. “He’s a 17-year-old kid who was brave enough to be on national TV, just signed a professional contract, and tell the world he’s gay.
“He’s totally inspiring to me on a whole different level. I talk to Jake almost daily, most recently maybe weekly, since earlier this year when he reached out to me via Instagram.
“It’s been fantastic trying to help Jake by allowing me to see my story, relate to it, contact me, and then lean on me on every issue over the past few months that you can imagine. Let him look at it.” To get your head and make your own decision on whether or not to come out of it, as the case may be. »
“We haven’t seen a moment like this in a generation”
Liz Ward, director of programs for Stonewall, Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ human rights organization, described it as “a special moment for all of us who love gaming”.
“What a moment,” said Ward. Sky Sports News. “I feel like my cheeks are really hurting from the smiles I’ve been through for the past few days.
“We haven’t had a moment like this in a generation, and I think the last time it happened was that 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 brilliant 17-year-old boy – who is brilliant at football – to be able to live out his true personality and be free to be himself in the world of the football game And this is an important and special moment for all of us who love society.”
“A day of great importance for English football”
but speaking monday night football, gary neville He said he believed Daniels’ decision would go down in history as a momentous day for English football.
“I was incredibly proud to see a 17-year-old able to interview this level of quality,” Neville said. sky game,
“I couldn’t do this in my mid-twenties or late twenties. What he just did took incredible courage. We’ve been in the locker room for many years and it would seem unimaginable to announce that you’re gay. I imagine Can’t get over how hard it was.
“It’s a day of great importance for Jake and his family, but also for English football. He’ll go down in history. It’s a big, big moment for football players. It’s so important, that.”
“I was on the PFA management committee maybe 15-20 years ago, which was a major issue, a major issue in the management committee meetings was that we didn’t have a player who could comfortably come out and say he was gay. Is.
“How do we deal with it? How can we solve this problem? The game didn’t handle this issue well at all. I think it’s just a matter of handling this problem well from the fans’ point of view.”
Cara: Blackpool an example for other clubs
Jamie Carragher Praised Blackpool’s role in helping Jake tell his story.
“I know the manager there, Neil Critchley,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “I think it’s really important, the role of the football club, if there are other players in the future, how Blackpool has gone about it.
“Definitely Neil Critchley will be a huge support mechanism for Jake in this role and that’s what he will need to move forward. He seems to have a huge talent as a player and we hope he does very well.” .
“I can only repeat what Gary said about Jake’s courage. But it’s not just about Jake, it’s about the football club, and I think he’s an example to others that How to behave when other players come out. In the future.”
“There’s a place for everyone in football”
Daniels cited Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo, the only current top-flight male professional footballer to be gay, as an inspiration behind his decision to speak out, with the Australian saying it was an “amazing feeling” after hearing the news. Was.
“I want to stop and salute Jake’s announcement and say how proud I am of his bravery,” he said. Guardian,
“It’s great to know that my story has helped Jake become himself.
“It’s moving to see what my story has influenced and inspired millions of people around the world, and it’s fantastic to see what helps global sport advance on every level. This world And there is a place for everyone in the game of football. Love will always win.”
“The response has been amazing”
Blackpool Academy manager Ciaran Donnelly said: bbc radio lancashire The entire club was “surprised” by the positive response to Daniels’ announcement.
“I called Jake last night just to see how he was doing, see how he was looking for him and make sure he was at home with his family,” he said Tuesday morning.
“I think we’re all shocked by the magnitude of the reaction. It’s hard to formulate, because these are unknown waters and you don’t know what you’re doing.
“But to see the tremendous positivity and profiles of people writing reviews – I wrote one to Harry Kane last night and thought ‘Wow, what a great thing’ – then the response has been amazing.
“I’m glad it’s been like this for Jake and we’ll see how it pans out in the days and weeks to come, but what worked wonders for him in the beginning and he’ll feel like it’s huge on his shoulders.” Weight.
“The positivity in front of him will make him feel on top of the world, I’m sure.”
“Another real step forward”
Brendan Rodgers added his thoughts during his pre-match press conference in Leicester, saying: “It was another real step forward, not only in football but in society at large.
“As for Jake, I am sure he will have woken up this morning feeling free and free to live his life the way he wants. You have seen the reaction of many people around the sport – football Growing up for many years and Jake and other young people who want to come out, hopefully this will be the beginning.”
Jones hopes Daniels will encourage rugby players to come out
The sports world’s reaction was not limited to football. England rugby head coach Eddie Jones praised Daniels and said he hoped it could inspire rugby union, where there are also some openly gay players.
“The first thing I would do would be to congratulate [Daniels] To be so brave and courageous, because the first person who does it opens up the possibility for others to do so,” he said. sky sports news,
“He should be congratulated, and if he encourages a rugby player to do the same in a similar situation, we are grateful to that player.”
“Daniel will be an inspiration to many more”
DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said: “Jake Daniels has shown great courage in telling his story and will be an inspiration to many other players and fans who, sadly, cannot do the same. Doesn’t have to be for everyone. The last male professional footballer in this country for more than three decades has felt quite comfortable doing so, suggesting an ongoing culture of homophobia in football that keeps pace with modern times Is out of.
“The committee has previously called for changes to the Football Offenses Act to make homophobic abuse a criminal offence. Jake’s adventure now could be a turning point for game makers and provide a new catalyst for dismantling the prejudices faced by LGBT people. People on the pitch and in the stands. ,
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