Although both religious institutions and sports teams are often painted as homophobic venues, the men's tennis team at the University of Notre Dame, a prestigious, independent Catholic school near South Bend, Ind., proved that those traits aren't inherent to faithful athletes.
When senior Matt Dooley began coming out to his teammates and coaches on Notre Dame's varsity men's tennis team last month, he was understandably nervous, as the first openly gay student-athlete at the Division I school, who had several times attempted suicide to combat his internal struggle. But according to a touching op-ed in OutSports, Dooley says his teammates were nothing but supportive.
And now, the University has released a powerful video documenting Dooley's journey and the supportive, heartfelt reactions from his coaches and teammates. Produced by Fighting Irish Digital Media, the video presents a compelling example of how to react when a teammate comes out as gay.
"Notre Dame is something that I can't explain," says Dooley in the video. "In some ways, It's my home, it's my team, it's my friends, it's my family - it's everything. I've given everything I've got on the court for this place, and ultimately it's given so much back to me now. It's so cliche, but, you know, it's home."
Watch the video below.