Who Major League Soccer's Only Openly-Gay Player Is Endorsing For President

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Who Is Collin Martin? New Details On Major League Soccer's Only Openly Gay Player And His Presidential Endorsement

On Wednesday, an openly gay pro athlete shared his support for the only gay candidate running for president. Collin Martin, a midfielder for Minnesota United, endorsed South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay and running for the Democratic nomination.

Martin shared the reasons behind his endorsement on Instagram and Twitter: “Athletes like me are told to keep quiet about politics but I refuse to sit on the sidelines when my community is under attack, especially by politicians who use faith as an excuse to discriminate. That’s why I’m proud to endorse @pete.buttigieg for president”.

Martin’s post comes following two Supreme Court cases regarding workplace discrimination on sexual orientation and transgender issues. “Now more than ever, we need a president who will protect and defend LGBTQ rights as if they were his own. Pete represents a new generation of leadership that our country deserves." Who is Collin Martin?

1. Martin is the only openly gay man who plays for a professional sports team in the U.S.

In June 2018, Martin publicly announced that he was gay on Twitter, making him the first openly gay man who currently plays for a professional team in the US. In an interview with The Washington Post, he shared, “Representation is huge. Having role models in any workplace in any setting in life is important. People need to know that it doesn’t matter what sexuality you are, how old you are, what race. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to be received well on a team as long as you’re a good teammate and do your job every day.”

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2. This is the first time an openly gay man has run for president.

According to NBC News, although an openly gay man has never run for president, it’s possible one of our 44 presidents could have been secretly gay given that statistics show 4.5% of the U.S. population identifies as gay. There has been speculation that Abraham Lincoln and James Buchanan may have been gay. Buttigieg claimed if elected, he probably would not be the first gay president of the United States. “I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay, we just didn’t know which ones,” Buttigieg said to NBC. “I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain.”

3. He plans to be an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community as President.

Buttigieg's campaign page shares his strong advocacy for equal LGBTQ+ rights. He plans to create a world with less judgment and more acceptance to put an end to LGBTQ challenges. His campaign mission statement reads: “When I’m President, I hope these questions will no longer haunt us. We will share solutions big enough to meet the challenges the LGBTQ+ community faces while bringing the American people together to understand that our freedoms are bound to one another.”

4. Martin said he hopes more public figures will get more involved in presidential primaries.

Athletes typically don't get involved in politics, but Martin said he’d love to see more athletes to share their stance on candidates they believe in. Martin shared his thoughts with Buzzfeed: “Whether it’s speaking on an issue or sticking up for a candidate on the national stage, I think we can all do something. And I think it’s a shame if we don’t use our platforms because there’s a lot of people listening.”

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5. Buttigieg replied directly to Martin's tweets.

Buttigieg clearly appreciates the athlete’s support and even went so far to directly thank him on Twitter after he shared his support for the presidential candidate. “Thank you, Collin,” Buttigieg replied on Twitter. “We’re building a movement to meet this moment and a future where all Americans belong. I’m proud to have you on our team.”

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6. Buttigieg made remarks in April addressing Vice President Mike Pence’s LGBTQ beliefs.

Mike Pence has passed harsh unfair discrimination towards the LGBTQ community during the Trump administration. He went so far to share that being gay is “learned” and done by “choice.” With Pence in mind, Buttigieg shared on Twitter, “If you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

"As a gay man of faith," Martin said, “This guy just really gets it.”

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Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. She covers news, entertainment, relationships and everything in between.