As the 2018 college football season starts this week, there are a seven players who publicly identify as gay or bisexual, a record.
At one time in the recent past, having any out players in college football was rare, so seven is a big improvement, though it’s far from ideal given how many thousands play the sport.
This list only details players who have discussed their sexual orientation publicly. There are other gay or bi players who might be totally closeted or out to only a few people and not public.
The seven players are:
- Scott Frantz, a Kansas State offensive lineman (FBS), who will be a junior.
- My-King Johnson, an Arizona defensive lineman (FBS), who is playing for the first time since sitting as a redshirt last season.
- Bradley Kim, an Air Force defensive back (FBS), who will be a sophomore. Kim hurt his foot in a practice and he said he will miss at least half the season.
- Jake Bain, an Indiana State cornerback and kick returner (NCAA Division I FCS), who will be a freshman.
- Xavier Colvin, a linebacker for Butler University (NCAA Division I FCS), who will be a junior.
- Jacob Van Ittersum, an offensive lineman at Northwood University in Michigan (Division II), who will be a senior. Van Ittersum identifies as bi.
- Wyatt Pertuset, a Capital University (Ohio, Division III), wide receiver and punter who will be a junior.
The public perception is that football would be hostile to players who are gay, but these out players all say they have been supported. Kim of Air Force says he was given a standing ovation this year when he came out to his team. Bain said his football teammates have always been his closest friends.
“A lot of people assume that because you’re playing a sport like football that there’s assumption that it’s a very masculine sport, and obviously it is, but it doesn’t mean that my teammates won’t be accepting of someone who is gay,” Bain said. “It shows how the tide is turning ...
“Football gets that hard rep but I think it creates the biggest bond out of any of the sports I have played.”
You can follow these players on social media: