Arizona Wildcats recruit My-King Johnson will be the first openly gay football scholarship player in the NCAA, the Arizona Daily Star reports:
The UA is happy to have him too — after all, the senior defensive end has the potential to make an impact on the team the moment he arrives. Johnson’s physical ability and potential attracted attention and offers from college football’s blue-blood programs. He verbally committed to UCLA before flipping to Arizona.
Johnson talks about football, family and his future.
Also this: he is set to become the first active openly gay scholarship player in major-college football history.
When Johnson told UA assistant Vince Amey about his sexuality while being recruited, the coach’s reaction — “We want you to be a Wildcat” — was exactly what he wanted to hear.
Now, the 17-year-old is an unintentional trailblazer.
“I do feel like when I say that, it can put a target on my back,” Johnson said about being open about his sexuality. “But whatever.”
The paper reports that Johnson came out when he was 12 and was accepted immediately by his mother.
Princeton offensive lineman Mason Darrow was the last college football player to come out as gay in 2015 and was believed to be the only openly gay active player in major college football that season, per Fox Sports.
Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is the most famous major college football player to come out as gay, though he didn’t make it public until after his college career had come to an end.