Scott Frantz, an offensive tackle for Kansas State, has come out publicly as gay in an interview with Holly Rowe for ESPN. He is only the third active FBS player ever to reveal publicly that he is gay.
In his first public comments as an out gay man, Frantz told ESPN that he has come out to his team’s coaching staff and teammates and received nothing but support.
“I’ve never felt so loved and so accepted ever in my life than when I did that,” Frantz said. “And ever since then it’s been great. I’ve grown so much closer to my teammates since then.”
Frantz told his team much the same way Michael Sam came out to his Missouri teammates, in a team exercise designed to share something about himself.
Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder reportedly responded to Frantz similarly to how then-Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli responded to former NFL tackle Ryan O’Callaghan coming out: “No big deal.”
Frantz said he wants to share his story to inspire other kids like him who feel they won’t be accepted.
We at Outsports have talked for years about the environment in big-time football being far better than people think, and Frantz’s story affirms what countless LGBT athletes and coaches have shared about their own coming-out in college sports.
Last season Kansas State finished 9-4 with a victory over Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl. Frantz started all 13 games for the Wildcats, the first freshman tackle to do so in at least 30 years, according to Kansas State athletics. After holding Myles Garrett to zero sacks in the Texas Bowl, he was named to the All-Bowl team Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.
Frantz is from Lawrence, Kansas.
Frantz will be one of at least two publicly out gay Power 5 Conference college football players this season. Earlier this year, Univ. of Arizona freshman defensive end My-King Johnson came out publicly as gay. He has been out to friends, family and teammates since he was 12. The Arizona coaching staff, including head coach Rich Rodriguez, has expressed support for Johnson, who is expected to make an immediate impact on a Wildcats defense that was woeful last season.
Arizona State offensive lineman Chip Sarafin revealed he was gay in 2014 while on the Sun Devils roster, but he did not play in a game after coming out.
In addition to Frantz and Johnson, there are several other publicly out gay college football players who will be suiting up this September.
Frantz has now taken a step so many have been waiting for for years. We know, from other athletes’ comings out and the testimony of countless straight athletes, that acceptance will be widespread. We look forward to watching him, and cheering him on, this season.