Athlete Jake Bain, who received widespread acceptance after he came out as gay to his St. Louis high school peers in 2017, has quit playing football at Indiana State University.
IndyStar reported on Wednesday, May 1, that Jake, 19, will not be returning for his sophomore season with the team.
This allegedly has nothing to do with anything homophobic transpiring with his teammates, coaches or university. Its so he can focus on his academics, per their assistant director of athletic communications Tim McCaughan.
He finished his freshman season playing in four games, according to team stats reported by the Sycamores.
Jake initially announced he was gay at a school assembly on National Coming Out Day. The news made its way to the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, who planned on protesting him last year.
— Rebecca Rivas (@Rebeccarivas) March 12, 2018
Their plan was met with a ton of resistance from his fellow students, family members, friends and more, who turned out in March of last year to support Jake after Westboro targeted him for demonstrations.
“Coming out [as gay] to my entire school was incredibly liberating,” Jake told ABC News at the time. “My entire community has been so supportive and accepting of me. I couldn’t ask for a better place to be.”
Jake appeared on The Ellen Show back in January, where he talked about all the love he’s received from people across the world and what the charismatic talk show host has meant to him at such a young age.
“Can I first just say, before I came out, I used to watch your show, like, all the time, and it means so much to me to actually be here now,” he gushed. “You’ve done so much for the entire LGBT community, and humanity as a whole,” he continued. “It just means so much to me to be on your show.”
Ellen, 61, commended him for his bravery. “If everyone had the courage to do what you did, then we wouldn’t have that homophobia, we wouldn’t have that fear,” she said. “And so, you’re going to inspire other people the way I inspired you.”