Introducing ‘The Gay Footballer’s Podcast’

We’re supporting a new podcast project from Adam McCabe who, having shared his own story, is now amplifying the voices of other inspirational LGBT+ individuals in football. Sports Media LGBT+ network lead Jon Holmes writes…

Discuss LGBT+ inclusion in sport with just about anyone in the UK, and it won’t be long until a well-known fact about men’s professional football in this country is mentioned.

It’s become a familiar topic, often over-analysed, and one that’s even considered to be an obsession for some. Whatever your view, this much is true – there is no out gay or bisexual player currently plying his trade in the Premier League, the EFL, or the SPFL.

In England, you have to go down to Level 8 of the pyramid to find a male footballer who not only happens to be gay or bi, but has also publicly shared that part of their identity. Such is the rarity even in non-league football that midfielder Liam Davis of Cleethorpes Town, in the Northern Premier League Division One East, has become one of the faces of UEFA’s #EqualGame campaign.

Just under four years ago, Florida-born footballer Adam McCabe flew home to the States, having reluctantly called time on his attempts to break into the pro leagues in Europe. Adam had been following his dream while struggling with his sexuality, and having also encountered examples of homophobia in the semi-pro football scene in West Yorkshire, the journey had been intense.

Adam McCabe was 19 when he first came to England on a football scholarship

Even without the added layers of complexity associated with being a closeted gay man in football, Adam found himself in a pressure-cooker environment. In order to progress, he had to prove himself as a team player, but also stand out; there were appearances for Bradford City’s reserves, and also trials at clubs on the continent, with Adam already affected by being miles away from home; and when injuries hit, the route towards success became even tougher for him. His mental health deteriorated, and although he pushed himself on to Slovakia and even Thailand to try and keep the dream alive, the closet was suffocating – and Adam just wanted to breathe, and be himself.

In late 2016, and by then back playing with Georgia Revolution near Atlanta, Adam shared his story in a first-person essay, which was also covered by Outsports. A few weeks later, he kindly granted me an interview for Sky Sports, going into further detail about his experiences in England to mark Football v Homophobia’s annual month of action. The article was then referenced in the final report issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry into Homophobia in Sport (section 26).

Since then, Adam has continued to play for the Revolution but has also used his voice to try and bring about meaningful change, in the hope that other gay or bi footballers don’t feel they have to suffer in silence like he did. He’s a patron for the LGBT+ sports equality campaign group Just A Ball Game?, he’s a member of the LGBT-inclusive Minnesota Gray Ducks football family, he’s written opinion columns for the Prost Amerika website, and he’s part of the All Stripes LGBTQ fans group supporting Atlanta United in Major League Soccer.

Now he’s turning up the volume even further, with a brand new podcast project.

In The Gay Footballer’s Podcast’, Adam will be speaking to LGBT+ people and allies from across the beautiful game to learn more about their experiences, and discuss the highs and lows.

I’m so excited to get this project off the ground… I really appreciate you being here.

Adam McCabe, ‘Welcome to The Gay Footballer’s Podcast!’

Here’s Adam with more information…

“In late 2016, I came out to the football world as an active footballer who is gay. I spoke about my experience climbing the English football pyramid as a closeted athlete, and the struggles I faced along the way.

“After spells of depression, of questioning my sexuality, and a lot of debating around my long-term future in football, I took a break from the sport and returned home to Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2015. After having time to work on my issues, I came out as a gay footballer and later joined the Georgia Revolution, who play in the National Premier Soccer League, the fourth tier of football in the US.

“I have now created ‘The Gay Footballer’s Podcast’ , an outlet that I wish I could have connected with during my professional playing career.

“The main goal of the pod is to spread awareness of LGBTQ and ally representation in sports. The focus will be on football (or soccer, where I’m from!), but sometimes I’ll also explore other sports and personalities too.

“Each episode will consist of a 30 to 45-minute interview with an individual making an impact in their sporting discipline.

“That may be a current or former athlete, a member of an organisation’s front office, or even a sports journalist – but whoever they are, each interview will aim to uncover the challenges and opportunities that these LGBTQ individuals and allies have faced and continue to encounter now.”

Listen to Episode 1: Sharing stories

Here at Sports Media LGBT+, we’ll be supporting Adam’s project as best we can with additional editorial, picking out some key lines from each episode which will hopefully encourage you to tune in to the pod in full on your commute, or in your downtime.

Adam was at Wembley in early February to speak at Just A Ball Game?’s #StrongerTogether event, alongside Everton and Wales legend Neville Southall

‘The Gay Footballer’s Podcast’ is available on iTunes, Anchor, Spotify, and Pocket Casts platforms. We’ll also be looking to embed each episode in articles here on Sports Media LGBT+.

You can keep up to date with all things surrounding ‘The Gay Footballer’s Podcast’ on the following social media platforms…

Facebook – facebook.com/tgfootballerspodcast
Instagram –
@tgfootballerspodcast
Twitter –
@tgfpod

To get in touch with Adam, drop him an e-mail at tgfootballerspodcast@gmail.com – and check back here for more coverage of ‘The Gay Footballer’s Podcast’ in the days ahead.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *