Prince William Sent a Heartfelt Message to British Soccer Player Who Came Out as Gay

Jake Daniels' decision will make such a huge difference.

Prince William responds to Jake Daniels coming out
(Image credit: Chris Jackson / Lee Parker / Getty Images)

Jake Daniels, a professional soccer player for Blackpool Football Club in Northern England, recently made headlines in the U.K. when he made the brave decision to come out as gay through an open letter on the club's website.

In response, Prince William sent out a heartfelt message of support to the athlete on social media. He wrote, "Football should be a game for everyone. 

"What Jake has done takes courage and will hopefully help break down barriers that have no place in our society.

"I hope his decision to speak openly gives others the confidence to do the same. W"

Daniels himself said in his letter that he owed his decision in part to other athletes who came out before him. "It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change."

And like the Duke of Cambridge says, Daniels in turn hopes to help others like him feel able to speak up. "I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this," he wrote.

"There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in."

In an interview with Sky Sports, Daniels admitted that attempting to hide who he was had affected his mental health, which is another reason the duke will have felt inclined to speak out about this—since mental health is one of the major causes he champions.

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.