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Collin Martin: Faithful San Diego player calls for more inclusiveness in men’s game |  News News


Collin Martin: “In America there are tons of women who play professionally. I think it’s because they feel comfortable enough to continue playing when they are young and feel supported by teammates and coaches. I feel like I’m on the men’s side, it’s just not the case. ”

Last update: 12/31/20 20:45

Collin Martin played for Minnesota United in MLS from 2017 to 2019 before signing for San Diego Loyal in 2020

Loyal San Diego midfielder Collin Martin said it couldn’t be fair that he is one of the only gay professional footballers currently playing in the game.

Former US international Robbie Rogers and former Aston Villa and Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger are among the players who came out after retirement – although Rogers went on to play for LA Galaxy.

A product of the DC United academy, Martin moved to Minnesota United in 2017 and eventually felt comfortable enough to tell all of his teammates he was gay after confiding in a few DC colleagues before.

Martin believes that more empathy, awareness and inclusion at the youth level will prevent gay male athletes from completely abandoning the sport and more encourage them to feel comfortable going out.

“The fact that I’m the only one playing right now is just not correct,” said Martin Sky Sports News.

“But I think it starts at the youth level to be fair, because you see, in America, there are tons of women who are absent, playing at the professional level.

“I think it’s because they feel comfortable enough to continue playing the sport when they’re young, and they feel supported by their teammates. They feel supported by their coaches and I have the on the male side, this is simply not the case.

“There are too many people who maybe give up on the sport or they don’t think it’s really for them because of maybe some language, or maybe the coaches are not inclusive in the sport. ‘team – and I think that’s when they quit.

Collin Martin: Faithful San Diego player calls for more inclusiveness in men’s game |  News News

Thomas Hitzlsperger released four months after retiring from football

“So if they quit smoking at a young age, there aren’t that many gay athletes progressing. There would be a greater percentage of gay athletes who are successful professionally if they didn’t meet maybe not the same obstacles at the level of young people.

“If there is anything we can do, it is by working at the youth level and making sure that coaches receive the proper training and education to ensure they are inclusive with their teams. “

Martin says it’s also of paramount importance that gay athletes have the support of their loved ones, insisting that without him they simply won’t be able to perform at the highest level.

“It’s difficult because you think these athletes maybe have completely separated the two. They have their professional lives and they have their private lives,” he said.

“But the sad reality is that in your private life, if you aren’t completely yourself and you can’t express yourself or feel accepted, it’s going to seep into your professional life.

“If he [a gay male footballer] can be himself and be comfortable with himself – and feel comfortable in his own home, with his own family, then at the club in the locker room, he will be able to perform better and be able to express himself in the field . It is no different from someone else’s privacy. “

“ Forever indebted ” to Landon Donovan

Martin and San Diego Loyal’s teammates left the field in a game earlier this year after Phoenix Rising player Junior Flemmings used a homophobic insult to the midfielder in a game between the two teams. Flemmings has denied any wrongdoing, but has since received a six-game ban and has been fined for the incident.

The sideline footage that emerged showed Martin’s head coach – former Everton and United States midfielder Landon Donovan – furious and protesting with the referee and Phoenix manager, Rick Schantz, on how to proceed after the conclusion of the first half of this game after the incident.

Collin Martin: Faithful San Diego player calls for more inclusiveness in men’s game |  News News

Collin Martin: Faithful San Diego player calls for more inclusiveness in men’s game |  News News 0:51
San Diego Loyals head coach Landon Donovan told Sky Sports News in October how proud he was that his team made the decision to leave in protest after midfielder Collin Martin left behind. been the target of homophobic abuse.

San Diego Loyals head coach Landon Donovan told Sky Sports News in October how proud he was that his team made the decision to leave in protest after midfielder Collin Martin left behind. been the target of homophobic abuse.

A week earlier, another Loyal player, Elijah Martin, had been racially abused by an opponent in a game Loyal had decided to forfeit.

Martin said: “Landon’s particularity as a coach is that he sees things differently and he understands the importance for a manager to see a player for who he is, as well as the importance of this individual in outside of sport.

“I think that’s what is so unique about him. As an amazing player he understands that there are certain things outside of the game that you struggle with, whether it’s depression, whether it’s your sexuality. sometimes racism in sport.

“And he’s just been so good at going around the players and offering his support and his wisdom. For me in particular he’s been very supportive in the things he said this year, but also in his actions.

“When the time came for him to really make a statement and really support a player, he did it – I don’t mean to say it with ease – but he did it with grace, with empathy and with support amazing. I will. be forever indebted to him and his leaders. “

Collin Martin: Faithful San Diego player calls for more inclusiveness in men’s game |  News News

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