Green Gully attacker Andy Brennan has become the first professional male footballer in Australia to reveal he is gay.
The former Newcastle Jets player made the announcement via his Instagram account on Tuesday.
Brennan played five matches for the Jets between 2015-17 – making his debut in March 2016 as a substitute in a 2-1 loss against Perth Glory.
“It’s taken me years to get comfortable saying this – I’m gay,” Brennan said.
“I was scared it would affect my friendships, my teammates, and my family. But the support of the people around me has been so great and helped me get to the final step; being completely open.
“Being open is the best way for me to feel most comfortable and be myself”
He has competed for a variety of second-tier clubs in Australia’s National Premier League, including Green Gully, South Melbourne, Bentleigh Greens and Oakleigh Cannons.
Brennan spoke to the Herald Sun about his decision to come out, explaining he believes homosexuality is still shamed in football.
“Statistically speaking, people playing sport, whether it would be football or AFL or any sport, you’d think there were more who would be gay,” he said.
“There is a bit of stigma within the sport and if people are going through what I went through, (they may think) it’s not okay because of not being accepted.
“This isn’t a call for those people to come out and tell everyone who they are. They shouldn’t have to, shouldn’t need to.
“If there’s people out who’ve had that burden, especially playing sport, and feel like they can’t be who they are in a professional or amateur environment, it’s vital they see others accepted.”
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