Minnesota United midfielder Martin, 23, has made the announcement ahead of Pride Night in the MLS

MLS midfielder Collin Martin has become the only openly gay male professional sportsman active in America.

The Minnesota United star, 23, made the announcement that he has come out on social media and encouraged others in a similar situation to do the same.

He has come out in public on the eve of the club’s celebration of gay pride.

The former DC United man said: “Tonight my team, Minnesota United, is having their Pride night.

“It’s an important night for me – I’ll be announcing for the first time publicly that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer.

“I have been out as a gay man for many years to my family and friends, and this includes my team-mates.

“I’m proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay.

“I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier.”

Former Leeds United, Stevenage and LA Galaxy star Robbie Rogers was the last MLS star to come out.

He retired after leaving Elland Road, but returned to football just months later.

The last high-profile American athlete to come out was Michael Sam, who did so just ahead of the 2014 NFL draft.

And now Martin has followed in their footsteps.

He added: “In light of my experience as a professional athlete, I want to take this moment to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly.

“June is pride month, and I am proud to be playing for pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.”

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