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Pro soccer team in Utah drafts out player EJ Proctor

The Utah Royals welcome Duke goalie EJ Proctor.

NCAA SOCCER: AUG 21 Women's - Duke vs Central Florida
Duke goalie EJ Proctor is headed to the Utah Royals to play professional soccer.
Photograph by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Utah Royals FC selected Duke goalkeeper EJ Proctor in the fourth round of last night’s National Women’s Soccer League draft. She was one of six Blue Devils selected in the draft.

Proctor, who chooses not to label her sexuality and is part of the LGBT community, had a stellar season last year, leading Duke to the national semifinals. She held a shutout all the way into penalty kicks.

“I knew I would be relieved to go anywhere, but when I got picked by Utah, I got really excited to be on the first team for their first season — it’s incredible,” Proctor said in a statement. “You always think as a little kid that playing pro is never going to happen, but here it is, and I am so excited. I can’t wait to see what it’s like.”

The move is significant in continuing to demonstrate just how accepting of LGBT people the sports world — and people in “unsuspecting places” — has become. For years we’ve been told that LGBT professional athletes in Portland and San Francisco and New York could be accepted, but that in places like Utah it would never fly.

Proctor’s selection in the draft by the Royals continues to undercut that notion.

Proctor was the fifth goalkeeper selected in the draft, and she is one of three goalkeepers to whom Royals FC own the rights. The club will compete in its first season later this year.

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