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ESPN features touchdown scored by openly gay college football player

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The first openly gay college football player to score a touchdown, Wyatt Pertuset, gets recognized by ESPN.

Wyatt Pertuset plays for Capital University.
Jamie Gaffney

Wyatt Pertuset, a wide receiver and punter at Capital University (Ohio) who is openly gay, got a great shoutout from ESPN’s Bob Ley for scoring a touchdown in the season opener.

In Friday’s “Outside The Lines,” Pertuset’s feat of perhaps being the first openly gay college football player to score a touchdown (it happened Sept. 1) was picked as “Underreported Story of the Week.”

“It was a really cool sight to see,” Pertuset told Outsports. “It’s nice when you get noticed for doing something that you’ve worked so hard to do.”

In three games for Capital (0-3), a Division III school near Columbus, Ohio, Pertuset has six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown and he leads the Crusaders with a 19 yards per-catch average. He’s also averaging 34 yards per punt.

Pertuset almost had touchdown No. 2 in a 44-40 loss to Heidelberg last week, but his knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line:

Photo by Spencer Dilyard

In the segment, Ley said the fact that the story was underreported was a growing sign of acceptance of LGBT athletes in college sports. That is true, though there are still only seven publicly gay college football players in 2018. Other factors are that the touchdown was scored on Labor Day weekend and that Capital is not a major program. Had a gay player for Ohio State or Alabama done the same, for example, it would not have gone unnoticed by the mainstream media.

Regardless, the recognition for Pertuset is well-deserved, especially since he has embraced being an LGBT advocate in sports by dint of being an out player in college football. To quote ESPN’s Ley: “God bless this kid. He’s setting an outstanding example.”