Missouri high school football player Jake Bain has come out publicly in a fantastic article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The opening two paragraphs are tear-jerkers right off the top:
Two autumns ago, he scored three touchdowns in the state title game, but on this October day, his senior season ended unceremoniously, so the running back walked off the field, seeking solace in a hug from his boyfriend.
“I did notice that moment, and knowing that was the last game of Jake's career, I thought, 'How lucky is Jake for that?'” said John Merritt, the football coach at John Burroughs. “And what does that say about our community, that they can both express themselves without any fear?”
It says a lot and continues to reinforce what LGBTQ athletes across the country have been saying for years: They are accepted.
The fact that this kid is a certified superstar certainly adds to the story. He was Missouri’s Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, state champ as a junior and team captain as a senior.
Now he’s headed to Indiana State to play Div. I football for the Sycamores next year. Yes, just like with My-King Johnson at the Univ. of Arizona, he was recruited and signed as an out gay athlete.
Interestingly, we’ve seen numerous college or college-bound football players come out this year, all accepted by their teams and all in “Red States” in 2016. All of these stories should tell people that the sports world in America is far more accepting that virtually anyone not typing this story gives credit.
Do yourself a favor and head to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to read Bain’s full story.