Yet Martin could soon be looking for a new home as the USL Championship’s San Diego Loyal — for whom he’s played since the club’s first season in 2020 — have announced the club is folding at the end of the season.
If he doesn’t get a contract elsewhere, and no other male pro athlete comes out, we could soon be without a single publicly out LGBTQ athlete in American men’s pro sports.
Martin has started the last four matches for the Loyal, scoring a goal in their latest win, at home against the Birmingham Legion, his lone goal of the season. Overall, he’s started 20 of the club’s 26 matches this season.
That likely bodes well for him, if he chooses to play more pro soccer.
At the very least, Martin’s 2023 season should be extended past the regular season.
The Loyal are 2-0 since team owner Andrew Vassiliadis announced the unfortunate news in late August. They are currently seeded fourth in the Western Conference, with the top eight teams in each conference making the playoffs. With eight matches left for the Loyal, Martin’s season is likely to be extended.
As Martin said on Instagram, he and his teammates still have “a lot left to play for.”
The Loyal have supported Martin, famously walking off the pitch of a match during which an opposing player called Martin a gay slur.
Former club manager and current Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Landon Donovan has also been a supporter of our community, having been Robbie Rogers’ teammate with the Los Angeles Galaxy and writing a message for the team making sure Rogers’ boyfriend was included (or, in this particular case, was equally excluded with the wives).
Martin, a midfielder for the Loyal, has played professional soccer for 10 years after playing for Wake Forest for one season.
There is a wildcard in the presence of out gay athletes in men’s pro sports: more athletes coming out. It’s possible another athlete — or athletes — could come out in the coming months.
As we’ve written before, every active rostered gay athlete who’s come out has found success.
Here’s hoping Martin continues to compete on the pitch, and more athletes share their true selves with the world. To be back to zero out athletes in US men’s pro sports would, in a word, suck.