The prevalence of people coming out publicly in sports continues to increase, and this year it includes at least 171 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in all areas of sports, from athletes to coaches to administrators to media members.
The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics had a record 56 out LGBT athletes, and some of these athletes came out publicly for the first time this year.
The list below includes people who came out publicly in 2016 via the media -- and, of course, the people that we are aware of. Some have been out in their private lives before, but 2016 was the first time they spoke publicly about it.
Others, like Kyle Covert and Nick McCarvel, had been out on social media before last year, but their coming out had not been at all covered by the media. We have grouped them in with this year’s list.
Other athletes were out on social media this year but specifically requested to not be mentioned as being LGBT. While we consider someone posting pictures with their girlfriend or boyfriend on social media, and acknowledging them as such, to be “out,” we have honored their request.
This list by far exceeds any we’ve had at a year’s end. The previous high was 109 brave sports folks in 2014.
If you know of someone who should be on this list, email us (email@example.com). And if you’d like to tell your coming-out story on Outsports, we’d love to share it!
Here is the inspiring list from 2016:
Izzy Allen, high school basketball player, Colorado
Brian Anderson, professional skateboarder, New York
Andre Apodaca, football player, Azusa Pacific Univ. (Calif.)
Chris Arcara, diver, North Carolina State
Andre Arsenault, volleyball player, Medicine Hat College (Canada)
Nicholle Aston, basketball player, Cornell
Jennifer Azzi, basketball player & coach, Stanford & Univ. of SF
David Baggs, executive, Boston Red Sox
Dylan Baker, football player & hurdler, Inglemoor High School (Wash.)
Maria Berrum, basketball and soccer player, Oakton Community College (Ill.)
Sam Blum, sports writer, Upstate New York
Nick Bogar, volleyball player, Boise State Univ.
Hanna Griffiths Boston, soccer player, Univ. of Portland (Ore.)
Patrick Boland, runner, St. Olaf College (Minn.)
Mark Booth, gymnast, Stanford Univ.
Evelien Bouilliart, professional skateboarder, Belgium
James Bowe, swimmer, Ithaca College
Chase Boyle, discus and hammer thrower, Mount St. Mary’s (Md.)
Jack Bristow, triathlete, Great Britain
Harrison Browne, professional hockey player, NWHL
Rachele Bruni, Olympic swimmer, Italy
Monique Burkland, sitting volleyball, U.S.
Tameka Butt, Olympic soccer player, Australia
Isadora Cerullo, Olympic rugby player, Brazil
Ben Christiason, high school cross-country runner, Iowa
Kennedy Cooley, Halifax West High School (Canada)
Jaxon Cork, high school and club volleyball player, Arizona
Nuno Costa, CrossFit competitor
Nick Cottrell, staff member, Milwaukee Bucks
Tony Covell, water polo player, Penn State
Kyle Covert, runner, Univ. of Louisville
Timothy Cox, runner, Yale Univ.
Conner Curnick, water polo player, Palomar College
Ashley Dai, tennis player, Univ. of North Carolina
Brent Darah, runner, Bowling Green Univ.
Brandon Davis, football and ruby player, Montana State Univ.
Kyle Decker, track & field, DePaul University
Charlotte Jamie Deldaele, triathlete, Belgium
Voight Demeester, hockey player, Penn State
Oshin Derieuw, professional boxer, Belgium
Stefanie Dolson, WNBA player
Elena Delle Donne, basketball player, WNBA/Team USA
Kate Drumgoole, basketball coach, Paramus Catholic High School (N.J.)
Abby Dunkin, wheelchair basketball, USA
Tyler Dunnington, baseball player, Minor League Baseball
Thad Ellis, diver, Auburn Univ.
Derek Ernst, swimmer, North Carolina State Univ.
Nunzio Esposto, diving coach, Duke University
Patrick Faerber, baseball umpire
Jess Farmer, basketball player, Elon Univ.
Alex Fauer, triathlete, Univ. of Michigan
Jeremy Fewell, staffer, UT-San Antonio
Nathan Fort, basketball player, Bethel College (Kans.)
Chandler Frumin, rower, Univ. of Tennessee
Jonathan Gascoigne, cricket player, England
Megan Giglia, cycling, Great Britain
Zach Greenawalt, pole vaulter, Juniata College (Penn.)
Connor Griffin, swimmer, Fordham Univ. (N.Y.)
Kelly Griffin, Olympic rugby player, USA
Victor Guttiérez, water polo player, Spain
Jason Hadley, cross-country and track, Univ. of Mount Union
Blair Hardiek, women's basketball, Univ. of Missouri & Univ. of SF
Emmonnie Henderson, track & field, Univ. of Louisville
Molly Higgins, executive, Los Angeles Rams
Chris Hine, sportswriter, Chicago Tribune
Quinten Hizey, high school wrestling coach, Indiana
Naomi Hong, golfer, Newton South High School (Mass.)
Brendan Housler, cyclist, New York
Mason Johnson, rugby player, Quinnipiac Univ. (Conn.)
Sam Johnson, soccer player, Whittier College (Calif.)
Samuel Johnson, ultimate player, Univ. of North Carolina Charlotte
Sonia Johnson, women's soccer, DePaul Univ.
Allison Jones, cycling, USA
Bryson Jones, staffer, Big Ten Conference
Dante Jones, diver, Univ. of Missouri
Evan Kail, martial arts
Stephen Kilroy, cross-country, Humboldt State Univ. (Calif.)
Jen Kish, Olympic rugby player, Canada
Sam Knollmeyer, men's lacrosse, Hamilton College
Valentina Kogan, Olympic handball player, Argentina
Ryan LaVigne, women's rowing, Lewis & Clark
Jake Leffew, golfer, Yale Univ.
Abi Liu, swimming coach
KR Liu, high school basketball player
Tyson Lusk, dir. of baseball operations, Univ. of South Carolina
David MacDonald, diver, Univ. of North Carolina
Vincent Magdaong, volleyball player, Univ. of the East (Philippines)
Angela Madsen, track & field, USA
Steve Mason, sports radio host, Los Angeles
Nathan Matthews, volleyball player, Wittenberg Univ. (Ohio)
Luke McAvoy, football player, Univ. of Minnesota
Nick McCarvel, tennis and Olympic writer
Bryan McColgan, gymnast, Stanford Univ.
Brock McGillis, semi-pro hockey player, Toronto
Brandon Meier, cheerleader, Kansas State
Mikah Meyer, adventurer
Desiree Miller, wheelchair basketball, USA
Jesse Moore, swimming coach, Northwestern Univ.
Corey Moreno, diver, Old Dominion Univ. (Va.)
Gili Mosinzon, professional basketball player, Israel
Hannah Mouncey, handball, Australia
Carly Muscaro, track & field, Merrimack College (Mass.)
Eefje Muskens, Olympic badminton player, Netherlands
Ashley Nee, Olympic kayaker whitewater slalom, USA
Michael Nelson, swimmer, Univ. of Iowa
Tony Nicolosi, track and cross-country coach, Cal State East Bay
Amanda Nunes, UFC fighter
Barron Nydam, fencer, Notre Dame
Meghan O'Leary, Olympic rowing, USA
Cindy Ouellet, wheelchair basketball, Canada
PJ Painter, rodeo, South Dakota
Stefan Palios, track & field, Yale Univ.
Nich Lee Parker, rowing coach, Columbia University
Mike Pasqualini, golfer, Newton South High School (Mass.)
Jonathan Peters, basketball player and coach, Cape Cod
J.P. Perez, diver, Purdue Univ.
John Pickhaver, distance runner, Villanova Univ.
Erik Pocock, archer, Massachusetts
Jillion Potter, Olympic rugby, USA
EJ Proctor, soccer player, Duke Univ.
Aly Quintana, basketball player, Elon Univ.
Hudson Rains, diver, North Carolina State
Kevin Ramsell, NASCAR
Chase Ratliff, runner, Morehead State Univ. (Ky.)
Javier Raya, Olympic figure skater, Spain
Rob Redding, football trainer, Henderson State Univ. (Ark.)
Taylor Reifert, soccer player, Lawrence Univ. (Wis.)
Alex Reimer, sports writer, Massachusetts
Jared Reynolds, runner, Chicago
Cooper Robinson, swimmer, Texas Christian Univ.
Chip Rogers, field hockey coach, Miami (Ohio) Univ.
Nathan Rommel, swimmer, Hope College (Mich.)
Jimmy Ross, swimmer, North Carolina State
G Ryan, swimmer, Univ. of Michigan
Luc Ryan-Schreiber, rugby player, Yale Univ.
Cavender Salvadori, track & field, College of William & Mary (Va.)
Moran Samuel, rowing, Israel
Hugo Scheckter, player liaison, Southampton F.C.
Jen Self, basketball player, UC-Berkley
Jamie Senegal, professional wrestler
Colin Shaw, lacrosse player, Wagner College (N.Y.)
Stephanie Shostak, volleyball referee, Canada
Max Showalter, diver, Purdue
Rafaela Silva, Olympic judoka, Brazil
Jessica Smith, soccer coach, Kansas State Univ.
Dana Sorensen, softball player & coach, Stanford Univ. & UC-Davis
Amy Spangler, wheelchair basketball coach, USA
Jeff Stabile, diver, UCLA
Jack Strickland, track & field, Friends Univ. (Kan.)
Steve Strimling, football referee, Pac-12
Steven Stumph, swimmer, University of Southern California
Matt Tang, swimmer, Georgia Tech
Lisa Taylor, motorcycle racer
Jaron Thomas, hurdler, Univ. of Colorado
Josh Thorne, runner, Univ. of Mount Union (Ohio)
Kenzie Tillitt, soccer player, University of Colorado
Taylor Tvedt, lacrosse player, Lehigh Univ. (Pa.)
Taylor Vanderlaan, rugby player, Ferris State Univ (Mich.)
Julia Vasconcelos, Olympic taekwondo, Brazil
Ricardo Vazquez, swimmer, Univ. of Mary Washington (Va.)
Danilo Verboom, soccer player, Netherlands
Marieke Vervoort, wheelchair racing, Belgium
Wes Villaflor, diver, Notre Dame
Travis Wagner, swimmer, Georgia Tech
Nattaphon Wangyot, track & field, Haines High School (Alaska)
Bradley Whitaker, lacrosse player, Bard College (N.Y.)
Garrett White, cross-country runner, Pinkteron Academy (N.H.)
Shane Wickes, high school football coach, Nevada
Kirsty Yallop, Olympic soccer player, New Zealand
Shavonte Zellous, WNBA player, New York Liberty
Wayne Zhang, diver, Yale Univ.