Jake Daniels was inspired to come out by Tom Daley

emNews & Articles Leave a Comment

Jake Daniels, the only professional UK male footballer who’s openly gay, has revealed how diver Tom Daley inspired him to come out.

In a new Channel 4 documentary, Out and Proud in Football, the 17-year-old Blackpool footballer opens up about his journey accepting his sexuality with fellow queer athlete Daley. Daniels explains that Daley’s 2021 Alternative Christmas message saying all it would take is if “one impossibly brave Premier League player steps forward and says: ‘I am gay’”, deeply impacted him.

“In football, being gay is a taboo – even now. So I had a choice, either live my life as a lie and carry on playing football or come out and have to quit,” Daniels explains in the documentary. I saw Tom talking on Channel 4 on Christmas Day. He spoke about homophobia in sport, and how amazing it would be and what a difference it would make if one brave player came out as gay.

“I watched that message over and over, and over again. Eventually, with the support of my friends and family and support of Tom, I decided to come out.”

Read on…

Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me

emNews & Opinions, Sports & Activity 1 Comment

Since Tom Daley came out in a YouTube video nine years ago, he has become an outspoken advocate of LGBTQ+ rights. The diver, national treasure and five-medallist was a good choice, then, to present an examination of homophobia in Commonwealth countries, filmed in the months leading up to the Commonwealth  Games in Birmingham.

These “issue” documentaries often present us with the manufactured “journey” of a celeb, but in the case of Illegal to Be Me, Daley truly does change his views. Homosexuality is illegal in 35 of the 56 member states that make up the Commonwealth, Daley tells us, and he starts the film with the goal that such countries should be banned from hosting the competition. Then he speaks to LGBTQ+ athletes from the countries that would be affected by such a ban. Read more…

The documentary is sadly only available in the UK for now but if you’re interested you can watch an extensive interview with Tom about it above.

Tom Daley takes home his first Olympic gold medal

emSports & Activity 4 Comments

The long wait is over — Tom Daley has his Olympic gold medal. Daley and Matty Lee won the gold medal in the men’s synchronized swimming 10m platform event, besting the defending champions Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen representing China by little more than a single point. It was the first time divers from China did not take first place since 2000. It was an emotional win, and he could be seen shedding tears on the victory podium.

“I still can’t honestly believe what is happening,” Daley told BBC Sport. “That moment, being about to be announced as Olympic champions, I was gone. I was blubbering.”

The British boys had a total score of 471.81, but had to wait for the final dive of Cao and Chen. However, Daley and Lee’s performance was too much for the defending champions. When Cao and Chen’s final combined score of 470.81 was posted on the giant screen, Daley and Lee leaped in an emotional celebration.

Daley, 27, first competed at an Olympics in 2008 when he was only 14 years old, and while he’s netted numerous gold medals in international competition, the Olympic gold had eluded him…until now. He had previously won bronze for the solo 10m platform event in 2012, and another bronze for the synchronized 10m platform event in 2016.