Basketball star Isaac Humphries becomes first NBL player to come out as gay
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Featured Image Credit: Isaac Humphries/Twitter/Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy Stock Photo
Australian basketball player Isaac Humphries has received an outpouring of support on social media after coming out as gay.
Isaac Humphries, who played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats, signed to Melbourne United in July earlier this year.
On Tuesday (15 November), the 24-year-old released a video onto his social media of him addressing his new teammates, opening up about his mental health and sexuality.
In coming out, Humphries has become the National Basketball League's first openly gay man.
**Warning: Contains mentions of attempted suicide.**
In the video, Humphries can be seen addressing the rest of his Melbourne United team, telling them the announcement is 'probably going to be one of the hardest conversations [he's] ever had in [his] life'.
The sporting star continues: "But life's about doing hard things and learning from them and making a difference through those hard times.
"So, bear with me. But I have some things I want to fill you in on and let you know about myself and my future."
Humphries goes on to explain to his teammates that he was in a 'very dark' and 'very lonely place' a few years back.
"I couldn't be who I am and I attempted to take my life.
"And the main reason behind me becoming so low and being in that point is because I was very much struggling with my sexuality and coming to terms with the fact that I'm gay," he said.
The 24-year-old said that he had been 'disgusted' with himself for being gay, believing he 'could not be that person' within the world of basketball.
Fortunately he had a 'big wake up call,' but was then faced with the worry of joining a team and decided not to hide who he is.
Noting his responsibility as an athlete to set a good example, Humphries resolved: "I decided that if I'm going to join a team I'm going to come out publicly, and just make sure people know you can live and you don't have to hide just because you're an athlete.
"[...] My goal behind this is to make sure people know you can be whatever you want, no matter who you are or what you do. You can be 'Big Ice' and be gay and you can still be a great basketball player and be gay."
Fans of the basketball player have since flooded to social media to show their support for Humphries.
One Twitter user wrote: "Make no mistake, this is a very powerful day in Australian basketball and sport thanks to Isaac Humphries. It’s gutsy, because some still have a long way to go, but people like Isaac will pave the way for change and acceptance. We are who we are."
"All the love and support to you. BE YOU. The world is better because of it. Welcome (publicly) to the family," another commented.
A third said: "Thanks for sharing. Everyone deserves to be happy. Hope your video helps others embrace themselves. Well done."
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123
Topics: News, Basketball, Mental Health, Sex and Relationships, Sport, Australia, NBA, World News