Jaguars assistant strength and conditioning coach Kevin Maxen received an outpouring of support Thursday on social media after revealing he was believed to be the first male coach in major American professional sports to come out publicly as gay.
Maxen, who explained his decision to come out in an interview with Outsports published on Thursday, has been praised by many on Instagram, with some praising him for being “brave and genuine”.
“Thank you for being brave and authentic! You will be an example for others. Stay strong! Your community is supporting and supporting you! one user wrote in the comments of Maxen’s June 29 post.
Another posted: “Congratulations and a big thank you!!” with the hashtag “Hero”.
“Congratulations!!! And thank you!! You have just had a huge positive impact on the lives of so many children,” another fan said.
Maxen, who has been involved in football for a number of years and joined the Jaguars in 2021, told Outsports he wanted “to be heard in support of people living the way they want to live”.
“I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore,” said Maxen, who has been dating her boyfriend, Nick, for more than two years.
“I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I see or why I live with someone else.
“I want to express my support for people living the way they want to live, but I also just want to live and not be afraid of how people are going to react.”
Last February, Maxen connected with linebacker Carl Nassib, who became the first active NFL player to come out as gay in 2021, as he navigated the path forward.
“For a while I had such anger towards myself and such hatred that I thought it was out of fear of what other people might think of who I am,” Maxen told Outsports.
“But that wasn’t it. It was anger and self-hatred because I put myself in a life where I lived by other people’s rules and not my own.
Maxen added that he wanted to share his life more with members of the Jaguars organization.
“You have other coaches who have relatives, and they talk about their relatives,” he said. “And I felt guilty for not being able to do the same, for letting myself down.
“I want the person I’m with to be able to share that with me.”
Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement to ESPN that Maxen “is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and our community.”
“I look forward to seeing Kevin next week at training camp and hope he comes to work every day during camp and throughout the season feeling confident, free and at peace. I know our players and staff feel the same,” Khan’s statement concluded.
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