British footballer Jahmal Howlett-Mundle has come out as bisexual.
On Tuesday, July 27, Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, a defender with the Sheppey United football team within the UK, decided to come out to his team. The moment of when Howlett-Mundle shared his truth was even recorded and later posted online.
“I know in football there’s sort of a stigma, but I’m still the same person,” he told his team before receiving a round of applause.
— Sheppey United FC (@SheppeyUFC) July 27, 2021
“I’m not the type of person to reveal large parts of my personal life and usually keep myself to myself,” Howlett-Mundle later shared in a statement through Sheppey UFC. “I certainly felt it was the right time to be honest with myself and my loved ones and by being open about my sexuality, maybe it will give others the confidence to follow suit.”
He then added, “Football still has room for improvement in terms of players coming out and being themselves, but with the likes of Thomas Hitzlsperger and Thomas Beattie having done so, it’s slowly starting to evolve. We have seen other sports people like Gareth Thomas and Tom Daley come out years ago and they are great role models for people like me.”
Love this! Footballer comes out as bisexual to his team mates and they all show support. Hopefully this opens doors for so many in sport hiding who they are out of fear. https://t.co/6wkivl5ODj
— Jake Burns (@jakeburns) July 29, 2021
Thankfully, the other Sheppey United players have supported Jahmal Howlett-Mundle since he came out to them earlier this week. Marcel Nimani, the team’s assistant manager, called the moment “inspirational.”
“Jahmal is a great footballer and leader for us on the pitch and an inspirational influencer off the field,” Nimani said. “In the 21st century, sexual orientation of a person is a normal existence in our society, but unfortunately in football it’s not quite the case.
He continued, “Bravery like Jahmal’s plays a massive part in normalising members of the LGBT+ community within football. I believe these acts go a long way in supporting many struggling sports people.”
This is how I feel pic.twitter.com/5jua1fnHPX
— Jam (@jhmundle) July 28, 2021
But it wasn’t just his team who have supported him. Howlett-Mundle also thanked the public for sending him several messages of love since he came out.
“Thank you for all the messages I have received so far, at least now I’m crying happy tears,” he wrote on Twitter. “I also want to thank my family and friends for supporting me over the past couple of years, Sheppey for all for their support in this decision and also to everybody that has been so welcoming and accepting.”