When it comes to pro athletes coming out, there has been a fair bit of progress in recent years. But wasn’t until now that a male American coach had come out while working for a professional sports team.
Jacksonville Jaguars strength & conditioning coach Kevin Maxen broke down that barrier on Thursday when he publicly came out as gay in a statement for Outsports, the “leader in LGBTQ sports news & commentary for athletes, coaches & fans.”
In the story, Maxen told Outsports that he didn’t ” want to feel like I have to think about it anymore.”
“I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I am seeing, or why I am living with someone else. I want to be vocal in support of people living how they want to live, but I also want to just live and not feel fear about how people will react,” he said in a heartfelt statement that was accepted and praised by many throughout the NFL community.
Among those showing their support for Maxen was Jaguars owner Shad Khan. “Kevin is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and community,” Khan told ESPN in a statement after reading Kevin’s story.
He continued by saying, “I look forward to seeing Kevin next week at training camp, and hope that he comes to work each day during camp and through the season feeling confident, free and at peace. I know our players and staff feel the same.”
Maxen joined the Jaguars in 2021, having previously worked at the college level with Baylor, Vanderbilt, Iowa and Army.
His Jaguars enter the 2023 season looking to improve upon last year’s campaign that saw them take the AFC South title and win their first playoff game since the 2017 season.
Here’s a look at how the football world reacted to Maxen’s announcement:
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