At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, My-King Johnson will be a big target on the football field at the University of Arizona. Will he be a target because he is such a good defensive end or because he is an out and openly gay football player?
When My-King Johnson is officially on the roster of the University of Arizona football team this fall as a freshman, he will make history as the first openly gay FBS scholarship player [The NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, is the top level of college football in the United States].When he plays for the first time — perhaps Sept. 2 in the season opener — he will also make history.
And in four years, he could potentially make history again if he is fortunate enough to be drafted and play on an NFL team. It’s a long way off, but King has the chance to reach the pros in what has been called an “organic” way.
The idea is that any male pro team athlete who is openly gay all through college would have an easier time since his sexual orientation will be old news by the time he graduates. It’s an idea we at Outsports have been hearing from athletes, coaches and educators for years when discussing gay men in sports. King will be a classic example of that idea in action and the first in football (Derrick Gordon came out as a Division I college basketball player in 2014 as a junior.) – outsports.com
There is no simple road ahead of any new college football player. To put the pressure onto My-King to be the first "organic" LGBT football player to make the pros, is more than he deserves. But we have proof that he is handling the pressure pretty well when we see one of his recent tweets:
He is aware of the importance of coming out publicly, telling the Arizona Daily Star: “I do feel like when I say that, it can put a target on my back.” There will no doubt be fans mocking him for being gay, but having been open on his high school team, King signed with an Arizona program that knew what it was getting.
In a profile in the Arizona Daily Star, written by Zack Rosenblatt, Johnson, who played his high school career at Tempe High School, said he has been open with family and friends about being gay since he was 12. He has found love and support ever since. – outsports.com
Johnson said he has been out since the age of twelve. Love and support from family and friends has always been there. "I’m a very honest person," Johnson told Rosenblatt. "I just don’t see how I could be living an honest, truthful life and have that in the background.”
My-King, even before you break onto that field and play your first college game, you have become an inspiration. Yes, you're here just to play football, but know in doing so and being open about who you are, you will help others lead an honest and truthful life.
Here's some more pics from My-King Johson's Instagram Page
Best of luck My-King!