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College coach tells players they can leave the team if they don't accept gay teammate

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When Andre Arsenault came out to his college volleyball team, his coach stuck by his gay player's side.

When Andre Arsenault came out to his volleyball coach at Medicine Hat College in Alberta, Canada, he had been keeping his sexual orientation secret so that his team could get to know him as a volleyball player before anything else. Coach Steve Russell didn't bat an eye.

"I told Steve (about being gay) and he laughed," Arsenault told Medicine Hat News. "It was really positive. The next day we had practice and I told the guys. Steve at the end of my schpiel was like ‘if anyone has a problem with that, you can leave and get off this team.'

"At first it felt awkward because it felt like special treatment. But it was nice."

At first some players on the team weren't quite sure how to handle having a gay teammate. They came around.

"There were a few guys who were uncomfortable with it at first," Arsenault told Outsports. "Mostly because they were uneducated about the LGBTQ community in general. But it grew on them and soon those were the guys I was closest with by the end of the season."

It's the team aspect of volleyball that Arsenault enjoys the most.

"I like how the game must be played as a team, not as si individuals on the court, or 12 individuals on a team," Arsenault wrote on his blog. "One fantastic player cannot carry the rest of the team, we must work together to force the opponents to make mistakes, while we are constantly trying to minimize ours."

Arsenault is now headed to MacEwan University. You can find him on Facebook.