Kevin Maxen Becomes the First Gay Male NFL Coach

Kevin Maxen (Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Jaguars/NFL)

The NFL has an out gay player, has had out gay women coaches come out, and now has its first out male coach: Kevin Maxen, an associate strength coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars team. 

His coming out makes Maxen the first publicly out male coach in any major American men’s pro sports league.

The owner of the Jaguars, Shad Khan, told ESPN that he “appreciated reading Kevin’s story,” which first appeared on one of SB Nation’s websites.

“Kevin is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and community,” Khan told ESPN in a statement Thursday. “I look forward to seeing Kevin next week at training camp, and hope that he comes to work each day during camp and through the season feeling confident, free and at peace. I know our players and staff feel the same.”

Khan has been a key supporter of a Jacksonville city ordinance that expanded protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

“I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore,” Maxen said in the interview. “I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I am seeing or why I am living with someone else. I want to be vocal in support of people living how they want to live, but I also want to just live and not feel fear about how people will react.”

As the Washington Blade has reported, the NFL has free agent Carl Nassib, who came out in 2020 as the first active gay player. Former free agent R.K. Russell came out as bisexual in 2019. As far as coaches go, the league has had female assistant coaches who are publicly out, including former San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers.

In the WNBA, the Los Angeles Sparks coach, Curt Miller, is an out gay man in a league with many out gay women on the court and coaching on the sidelines. The same is true for U.S. Women’s Soccer. Although there are several active out gay men playing soccer around the world, as PinkNews has reported, professional soccer in the U.S. has but one gay man playing: Collin Martin but there are currently no other active gay male players or coaches in the league nor in the NBA or MLB.

 Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.


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