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Blackpool forward Jake Daniels became the first active footballer in England to come out as gay since Justin Fashanu did so in 1990. Daniels felt it was the right time to do so after he made his debut in the Championship. He is thankful for all the support received from teammates and family. Daniels hopes to become a role model for other players to feel comfortable coming out.

“I was incredibly proud just to see a 17-year-old be able to actually do an interview of that level of quality,” Gary Neville said after Jake Daniels became the first active footballer in England to come out. “I would not have been able to do that in my mid-twenties or late-twenties. What he has just done took incredible courage. We have been in dressing rooms for many, many years and that would seem like the unthinkable to announce that you are gay. I can’t imagine how difficult that has been. It is a day of great importance for Jake and his family but also for English football. It will go down in history. It is a big, big moment for football players. It is of massive importance, this.”

“I was on the PFA management committee probably 15 to 20 years ago now whereby this was a major talking point, a major issue at management committee meetings that we did not have a player comfortable enough to come out and say they were gay,” he added. “How do we deal with this? How do we address this? The game has not dealt with this issue well at all. I think it is just about getting good at dealing with this issue from a fan’s perspective. I think it is really important, the role of the football club, if there are other players in the future, how Blackpool have gone about it.”

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