David Denson, the only publicly out gay player in MLB or Minor League Baseball, has retired, announcing his departure from the game on Monday.
Denson was an outfielder playing in the Milwaukee Brewers’ system.
“I wanted to share something with you that I know some of you may not have seen coming or understand,” Denson wrote on Facebook. “I want to thank all of you for the amazing love and support over the years. But my baseball journey has come to an end. Even though my baseball journey has ended, a new door is opening and I will continue to push forward!”
Denson was the only remaining active athlete in “The Big Four” sports leagues who was publicly out as gay. Jason Collins has since retired and Michael Sam has never found a home in the NFL. The NHL has never had a current or former athlete come out publicly as gay. Robbie Rogers is still in Major League Soccer but hasn’t played this season.
Denson said he will pursue a career as a personal trainer and athletic trainer based out of Ontario, Calif., 30 miles east of Los Angeles. Denson’s Instagram account also lists him as an artist and dancer, and his name as Braxxon Young.
“My feelings weren’t in the game anymore,” Denson told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “My passion for the game and drive for the game wasn’t there anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I love baseball. Baseball will always be in my heart. But wanting to do it as a career was no longer there for me anymore.”
The change of heart about baseball has apparently come recently. Just over a month ago Denson tweeted how excited he was for Spring Training.
“Spring training right around the corner!! This is gonna be a great year!!”
Things must not have gone so great in said Spring Training.
Whatever Denson does going forward, we wish him nothing but the best. He opened eyes about inclusivity in professional baseball, inspiring countless LGBT athletes, coaches and others in sports to be their true selves.