Blackpool’s Jake Daniels features in Channel 4 documentary with Olympic diver Tom Daley

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Blackpool’s Jake Daniels sat down with Olympic diver Tom Daley for a Channel 4 documentary about his ground-breaking decision to come out as gay.
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In Out & Proud in Football, Daniels reveals he came out after watching Daley discuss homophobia in sport during his alternative Christmas message, which was aired on Channel 4 last year.

The 17-year-old, who made his senior debut for the Seasiders in May, became the first male professional footballer in England to come out as gay since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

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Daniels, who signed his first professional contract earlier this year, received widespread praise from the likes of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince Williams, Gary Lineker and England captain Harry Kane.

In the documentary, Daniels says he took huge inspiration from Daley after the Olympian encouraged gay footballers to be “brave”.

Speaking in his message, Tom said: “Think for a moment about the number of players too scared to speak up and how lonely that must be.

“Nearly seven per cent of people in the UK identify as gay or bisexual – there are around 500 Premier League players.

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Daniels publicly came out as gay back in May of this yearDaniels publicly came out as gay back in May of this year
Daniels publicly came out as gay back in May of this year

“Statistically, there are enough players for three football teams. At least one gay man at every club in the Premier League, living a lie.”

Discussing Tom’s message in a monologue to camera at the start of the documentary, Daniels revealed he watched the video “over and over” again.

Five months later, Daley would make his pioneering announcement in an interview with Sky Sports.

“I was terrified about being found out and terrified of staying in,” he told Channel 4.

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“But then I saw Tom Daley 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 the support of Tom, I decided to come out.

“At the moment, I’m still the only out gay professional footballer in England. Who else is ready to come out?”

You can watch Out & Proud in Football on All 4 or alternatively, an eight-minute video has also been uploaded to YouTube.