Kevin Maxen told Outsports on Friday that the support he has received from the Jacksonville Jaguars, from across the NFL and around the country since coming out publicly yesterday has been “out of this world.”
That support has been anchored by Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who on Thursday shared a statement that made clear his support for Maxen coming out and being out as a Jaguars coach was unequivocal.
“Kevin is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and community,” Khan said, according to ESPN. “I look forward to seeing Kevin next week at training camp, and hope that he comes to work each day during camp and through the season feeling confident, free and at peace.”
That’s pretty incredible leadership from Khan, offering a more powerful statement than even I could have written for him.
Jaguars Director of Player Development Marcus Pollard and former center Brandon Linder also helped set the tone with their full support for Maxen in his coming-out post on Outsports.
The result? Hugs and congratulations from players and coaches in the Jaguars organization.
While some may be surprised to hear about this support, no one at Outsports is the least-bit surprised. The support and pride for what Maxed did has poured in from around the country, including people who have worked with him in the past:
Had the honor to play for Coach Kev. He was someone who believed in me when not many other coaches did. Pushed me to become a better player & more importantly better person. A TRUE role model of mine and epitome of what a coach should be. @Coach_Kev_ #TDG #WRP #OFBK #TheBest https://t.co/4xZkDLFgBb— Dylan Calo (@CoachCaloFB) July 20, 2023
Plus people in the NFL:
Kevin, nothing but .— Sam Rapoport (@samrap10) July 20, 2023
Our out @NFL family is getting stronger and stronger, braver and braver. #forwardprogress
Kevin Maxen is the first out male NFL coach, with Jacksonville Jaguars - Outsports https://t.co/okiRCdMRVg
Outsports has preached this mantra for many years now: Sports have changed. Even macho men’s sports
For Maxen, he’s already back to business as usual.
One of the main reasons he wanted to come out was to get it off his shoulders so he could stop thinking about it and give everything he has to helping the Jaguars win a Super Bowl.
The quick hugs and congratulations from across the team have poured in this morning, because this afternoon it’s in the past, the weight is lifted off his shoulder, and he and the rest of the team have a job to do.
That’s the NFL. That’s major pro sports. And it’s one of the reasons I have, for the last 18 months, confidently told Maxen that he will be warmly welcomed by people across the sport after coming out.
Players, coaches, executives and owners in pro sports want to win. They want to win with whoever can get them there.
The Jaguars have identified that Maxen — who has risen up the ranks quickly and is well-liked on the team — can help Kahn, head coach Doug Pederson, quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the rest of the Jaguars hoist the Lombardi Trophy at this season’s Super Bowl.
We’ll be cheering them along the whole way.