Minnesota midfielder Collin Martin comes out as gay

The Minnesota United will celebrate Pride Night on Friday night and midfielder Collin Martin took the opportunity to announce that he is gay just hours before the event.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Martin said that most of his teammates were already aware and that he's been out to his friends and family for many years.

Friday's announcement makes Martin, 23, the only openly gay male athlete currently playing in a major professional American sports league.

Robbie Rogers was the first openly gay male athlete to play for a major professional American sports league when he returned to MLS and signed with the L.A. Galaxy shortly after coming out in 2013. Injuries forced him to retire in 2017.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 9: Collin Martin #17 of Minnesota United during Los Angeles FC's MLS match against Minnesota United at the Banc of California Stadium on May 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles FC won the match 2-0 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
Mar 25, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell (2) battles with Minnesota Timberwolves midfielder Collin Martin (17) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. The New England Revolution won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 30: Minnesota United midfielder Collin Martin (17) slide tackles to keep the ball away from Houston Dynamo forward Romell Quioto (12)\ during the MLS match between the Minnesota United FC and Houston Dynamo on September 30, 2017 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 15: Collin Martin #17 of Minnesota United FC and Bradford Jamison #38 of the Los Angeles Galaxy vie for the ball in the first half during the MLS game at StubHub Center on October 15, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 15: Giovani dos Santos #10 of Los Angeles Galaxy battles Collin Martin #17 of Minnesota United during the Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS match against Minnesota United at the StubHub Center on October 15, 2017 in Carson, California. Los Angeles Galaxy won the match 3-0(Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 09: Latif Blessing #7 of Los Angeles FC and Collin Martin #17 of Minnesota United go for the ball in the first half of the game at Banc of California Stadium on May 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 15: Collin Martin #17 of Minnesota United FC passes the ball in the first half during the MLS game against the Los Angeles Galaxy at StubHub Center on October 15, 2017 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated Minnesota United FC 3-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 09: Diego Rossi #9 of Los Angeles FC and Collin Martin #17 of Minnesota United battle for the ball in the game at Banc of California Stadium on May 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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Here is Martin's full tweet:

"Tonight my team, @MNUFC , is having their Pride night. It's an important night for me - I'll be announcing that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. #soccerforall," He also posted an accompanying statement and a photo of himself draped in a rainbow flag.

"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. As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am," part of his statement read.

The United will wear jerseys with rainbow numbers for tonight's game against FC Dallas.

--Field Level Media

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