Avery Saffold is showing us the accepting heart of sports in his senior season with the Amherst College football team.
The team is off to a hot start. Their lone loss in their 4-1 season campaign was in double overtime to Middlebury College, which is currently in the AFCA Coaches Poll top 50.
The Mammoths football team is demonstrating this success after electing Saffold as a team captain while knowing he’s gay.
For his part, Saffold is earning his stripes. He leads the team with three interceptions on the season. He’s also blocked a field goal attempt. And he’s even returned a couple kicks.
He’s doing all of this after coming out publicly as gay in an Outsports article over the summer. And his team is having their success with an out gay team captain.
Saffold told Outsports he credits some of his success this season to finally being open and free with everyone in his life.
“The start to the season has been great,” he said. “I feel totally free with my coaches and teammates and I think it has translated to my game. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
He’s not the only gay person in football finding success. Katie Sowers is a coach with the San Francisco 49ers, and they’re currently undefeated this season. The Kansas State football team, with gay offensive tackle Scott Frantz, was 3-0 but have lost their last two; Frantz is an NFL prospect. All told we know about seven publicly out gay or bi college football players active in 2019.
We’ll be following all of these out LGBTQ people in football this season.