Bradley Kim, who plays defensive back at the Air Force Academy, just came out in an interview with OutSports,
“The biggest reason I want to share this is to be able to reach people who are in similar situations struggling with the same things I have struggled with. want to be that example for kids that you can be gay, you can pursue your dreams, and you can have an athletic career. My dreams got me to a D1 football program. I want to be there for people who don’t feel like they have anyone there for them, because I was that kid growing up in high school.”
Kim told his parents and some of his teammates about his sexuality first. They all supported him, adding that his he fellow defensive backs gave him a standing ovation.
In a statement to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Air Force Academy said:
“The academy strives to foster a culture where everyone gives and receives dignity and respect so that each individual has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.”
Kim said that the support he had received from his teammates and coaches at the academy helped him in his decision to come out,
“They tell me they appreciate the fact that I felt confident enough, and they meant enough, for me to tell them. I’ve spent too many years worrying what other people will think and letting it affect what I do in my daily life.
And I’m kind of done with that. It doesn’t affect my ability to play football. It doesn’t affect my ability to serve my country. No one cares here. We all go through the same thing, we all go through basic training. What we go through going through the Academy goes way deeper than worrying about what someone will think.”
Kim said that he was given advice by Conner Mertens, a former Willamette University player football player, who came out as bisexual in 2014, becoming the first active college football player to come out at any level in America. There are five service academies in the US, including the Air Force Academy, which train officers for the United States Armed Forces.
Although six former NFL players have come out, there has been no out active player in the NFL right now.
(Photos, Facebook; via Pink News)