Minnesota United FC midfielder Collin Martin announced Friday that he is gay.
In the following tweet, Martin wrote that he will compete as an out player for the first time Friday against FC Dallas on Pride Night:
Martin added that he has been out to his family, friends and teammates for many years and that their support made coming out publicly "that much easier."
The 23-year-old native of Chevy Chase, Maryland, discussed the meaning of coming out as a pro athlete with Megan Ryan of the Minnesota Star Tribune, saying, "I never thought that was completely important because I thought it'd been done before. But, I mean, you look around, there's still not an out professional athlete in the five major sports in America ... right now. So it's still important."
Per Ryan, Martin is the first MLS player to come out as gay since former Los Angeles Galaxy star Robbie Rogers in 2013.
He is also the first male athlete to come out in one of North America's five major sports since defensive end Michael Sam did before the St. Louis Rams drafted him in 2014.
Martin is in the midst of his sixth MLS season.
He was originally signed by DC United in 2013 after playing his college soccer at Wake Forest.
Martin was traded to Minnesota United in 2017 and has made 17 appearances with the club over the past two seasons.
In six games this season, including three starts, Martin has no goals and one assist.
Martin's first game as an out player will kick off Friday at 8 p.m. ET at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.