Footballer Jake Daniels’ hometown marks his coming out in a unique way /Queerty
Earlier this week, 17-year-old professional soccer player Jake Daniels came out as gay. It made him the first British player to do so in over 30 years.
He was met with overwhelming support, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tweeter a message of congratulations. Representatives of Daniels’ football club, Blackpool FC, also said how proud they were of the player.
Related: British Footballer Jake Daniels Comes Out Gay
Now the wider city of Blackpool in the north of England has also shown its visible support.
Blackpool, on Lancashire’s north-west coast, is renowned as a summer resort town, mainly for British blue-collar workers (it has a slight Coney Island vibe). It offers a large pleasure beach with massive roller coasters and the iconic Blackpool Tower, built in 1894.
He announced that he would light the tower in alternating rainbow colors and orange light for the rest of this week. Tangerine is the official color of the Blackpool FC players’ shirts.
For the rest of this week, the iconic Blackpool Tower will be lit in tangerine alternating with rainbow colors to show respect and support for @BlackpoolFCit’s Jake Daniels 🧡
On Monday, Jake became the first male professional footballer in the UK to come out publicly as gay since 1990. pic.twitter.com/XCjseTYUgA
— VisitBlackpool (@visitBlackpool) May 18, 2022
Daniels, who was born in the village of Bispham, just outside Blackpool, was touched by the incredible show of support and tweeted his thanks.
Anytime Jake 👊💚 https://t.co/KIfoe3iaX7
— The Blackpool Tower (@TheBplTower) May 19, 2022
Related: Aussie Rules Footballer Josh Cavallo Comes Out Gay
LGBTQ sports fans are hoping Daniels’ decision to come out early in his career will inspire other professional footballers to do so.
Others to post messages of support for Daniels include Elton John, Matt Lucas and Ian McKellen.
A courageous and revolutionary statement. At seventeen, he has hopefully changed the face of football forever. Well done 👏🏻 🚀 pic.twitter.com/XYloE10jc3
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) May 17, 2022
At 17 years old, @Jake_Daniels11 represents a generation that rejects old-fashioned homophobia in football and elsewhere: those who have not yet grown up like him. He sets the example. No wonder so many of us, gay and everyone else, admire and cherish him as a hero. What a goal he scored!
—Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) May 17, 2022
It is a landmark day in British LGBT history. Brilliant, brave @Jake_Daniels11 – a professional championship footballer with @BlackpoolFC – is out. Big respect to you, Jake, and to your club and teammates for your support. ⚽️🏳️🌈
— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) May 16, 2022