American soccer star, Collin Martin, got an emotional standing ovation last night (Wednesday), as he finally took to the field to play for the first time since coming out as gay.
The Minnesota United midfielder was on the subs bench for most of his club’s match against Toronto FC. However, in the 79th minute, Martin was sent out and, when he ran on to the field, the stadium erupted.
Soccer crowd roared in support of gay player
The crowd at Minnesota United’s temporary home, the TFC Bank Stadium, got to its feet and roared its approval in seeing the 23 year-old gay soccer star finally get his moment in a game.
’Wednesday night, Minnesota United FC midfielder Collin Martin returned to the field after being an unused sub last week. And the crowd was right there with him’, Major soccer league website MLSSoccer.com reported.
Martin originally came out ahead of his team’s ‘Pride night’ match against FC Dallas last Friday, but for unknown reasons the midfielder was left on the subs bench. The decision raised eyebrows among fans and commentators.
However, when the player finally got his chance to play last night, media pundits were quick to capture the mood of the moment. Reporter and sports analyst, Jeff Reuter, tweeted: ‘A standing ovation as Collin Martin is announced. Goosebumps.’
Gay sports blog LGBT+Soccer tweeted: ‘The crowd roars as @martcw12 takes the pitch for his first match as a publicly out gay man.’
Canadian news anchor, Kevin Jesus, tweeted a gif of rainbow-coloured heart and wrote: ‘HUGE! A standing ovation for @martcw12 who enters tonight’s @MNUFC vs @torontofc game… first time he’s stepped on the field since coming out last week. No doubt the #LGBTQ community and allies are all supporting him. So awesome.’
Gay Star News has been following Martin’s story closely since his coming out. The soccer player’s brave decision and show of support from supporters, comes as the FIFA World Cup progresses in Russia, a country with a terrible record of supporting LGBT people.
In the end, Martin’s team beat their rivals 4 – 3, but most would agree it was a winning evening for everyone who attended the match.