Jake Daniels is an 18-year-old striker for Blackpool FC, and he became the first British footballer to come out as gay since the 1990s when the late Justin Fashanu publicly came out.
Daniels came out in 2022, and on his statement for Blackpool FC’s website, he expressed:
“Off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself.”
Ever since publicly coming out, the athlete has been vocal about his sexuality, including his relationship with 46-year-old boyfriend named Mark, who he described as his “soulmate.” He also noted that he “couldn’t be more happy” with their relationship.
More recently, Daniels opened up about “occasional slip-up of homophobic language” among his Blackpool teammates.
“If [a word] does slip out now by someone at the club, they’ll be like, ‘Oh god, sorry,’” he shared in a new interview with GQ.
And as for how he feels when hearing such language from his teammates, the football player admitted:
“It doesn’t really phase me to be honest. I know it’s not intentional. I’m not the type of person to get all annoyed at it. If it was an opponent, it would [feel more] meaningful.”