Arizona three-star recruit My-King Johnson is set to become the first openly gay Division 1 scholarship college football player.
My-King Johnson, a three-star defensive end recruit from Tempe, Arizona, will become the first openly gay Division 1 scholarship college football player this fall. The news was first reported Saturday by the Arizona Daily Star. Johnson reportedly came out to his family and friends back when he was 12 years old.
Johnson, who also seriously considered UCLA, reportedly came out to Arizona’s staff during the recruiting process. Here’s what Arizona assistant Vince Amey told the Arizona Daily Star:
“When I found out, I really couldn’t sleep,” Amey said. “And it wasn’t like I was uncomfortable with it. I was just like, all right, it’s different, it’s new. … I said, ‘Look, you are who you are, I am who I am, and I’m going to coach you the same way. I’m going to treat you the same way. I’m going to get on you the same way as everybody else. There’s no difference. You do what you do.’ I said, ‘When the players find out, especially my room, I’m going to tell (those) dudes: ‘Look, you gotta have his back.'”
Johnson, who had 11 offers, stands at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. He seemingly addressed the attention he’s been getting Saturday on Twitter:
Johnson is not the first gay football player, but he is the first to come out before ever suiting up for his team. Arizona opens with Northern Arizona on Saturday, September 2.