Australian footballer Andy Brennan has come out as gay in a post on his Instagram page.
The former A-League player is the first male Australian footballer to publicly come out.
The 26-year-old currently plays for Victorian National Premier League side Green Gully after signing for the club in November 2018.
Brennan had a two-year stint with A-League side Newcastle Jets between 2015 and 2017 but could only make five league appearances.
View this post on Instagram
It’s taken me years to get comfortable saying this – I’m gay. I was scared it would affect my friendships, my teammates, and my family. But the support of the people around me has been so great and helped me get to the final step; being completely open. Being open is the best way for me to feel most comfortable and be myself. So… carry on! #owlyagoing
He said it was not a call for other gay players to come out, but it was the right decision for him.
“You’ve got to realise that’s who you are and you’ve just got to be who you are – whether you’re gay or whatever, whoever you are,” Brennan told the Herald Sun.
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“There will be people out there thinking, ‘why has he got to voice his own personal whatever to the world?’ The reason I wanted to do this in the first place was to make me feel comfortable. It’s been a big lift off my shoulders and I can just focus on playing football.
“This isn’t a call for those people to come out and tell everyone who they are. They shouldn’t have to, shouldn’t need to.
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“I did it this way because this is what is going to make me most comfortable – being open and honest with who I am.”