Openly Gay Football Recruit My-King Johnson Will Make History With Arizona Wildcats
Highly recruited defensive lineman from Tempe, Arizona, My-King Johnson, who has committed to play for the University of Arizona, is all set to make history this fall as he will be the first openly gay scholarship athlete at an FBS school.
In a profile interview with Zack Rosenblatt of the Arizona Daily Star, Johnson revealed that he told family and friends he was gay at the age of 12 and didn’t want to hide who he is.
He told his mother last, during a trip to the grocery store.
“I love you for who you are as a person,” Lewis told him. “Sexuality? It doesn’t matter. … That’s how I teach my children. Love who you are no matter what you are, or what you look like. You have to love yourself. If you love yourself first, then everybody else will respect that and have no choice but to love you.”
Then, he broke the news as he was being recruited.
“During the recruiting process, Johnson told Arizona defensive line coach Vince Amey about his sexuality and got this response: “We want you to be a Wildcat.”
Johnson is aware of how his sexual orientation could put him under more scrutiny on the field: “I do feel like when I say that, it can put a target on my back.”
Despite that potential target, Johnson explained why making sure he is open with his sexuality is so important to him.
“I’m a very honest person,” he said. “I just don’t see how I could be living an honest, truthful life and have that in the background.”
Johnson had 22 sacks as a junior and added 21½ more sacks, 19 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles as a senior.