Brad Thorson
Football Player Comes Out to Celebrate Independence Day

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com July 09 2014 1:16 PM ET

Former football player Brad Thorson says he had been writing and rewriting the blog post in which he would come out and finally took the plunge last week to publicly declare that he is gay.

"I've been told many times that the process of coming out is cathartic," Thorson wrote. "Yet since coming to terms with my sexuality, I found it arduous and unnecessary. At least that's what I kept telling myself. So today, I'm putting it in writing and not looking back. I'm gay. I'm also an athlete. For years, I struggled to unite these two identities in my own mind."

Thorson shared his story in a blog post Friday, later telling Outsports that as soon as he posted it, "I remembered that I had all my friends and family who already supported me. It was a real relief afterward."

Thorson was an NCAA offensive lineman for Wisconsin and then Kansas. When he attempted to go professional, he did not get drafted to a team in 2011, but signed with the Arizona Cardinals later that year. However, Thorson did not get the chance to play during the regular season after breaking his foot, Outsports reports. After a brief stint with the Canadian Football League, Thorson decided to leave football altogether. He now plays rugby in San Francisco with the Fog.

Thorson said he was inspired to come out publicly by gay pro athletes Jason Collins and Michael Sam as well as athlete-turned-politician Brian Sims.