NFL’s Kevin Maxen becomes first male coach in major US sports to come out as gay



The NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars coach, Kevin Maxen, has come out as gay — making him the first male coach in a U.S. professional sports league to do so.

Maxen, who joined the Jaguars last season after working with the Baylor Bears and Vanderbilt Commodores’ teams, revealed the news in an interview with Outsports on Thursday, July 20 saying that he wanted to be honest with who he was in the hopes that other athletes will do the same.

Maxen is the first male coach to have come out publicly as gay.

When it comes to players, there have only been 16 in the history of the NFL to come out as gay or bisexual as of September 2022. Carl Nassib became the first active player in the league to come out in 2021.

“I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore,” Maxen told the outlet. “I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I am seeing, or why I am living with someone else.”

He continued, “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.”

Maxen also said he felt “guilty” at being unable to share his love for his partner of over two years, Nick, with other members of the Jaguars coaching staff, who had often talked about their own relationships.

“You have other coaches who have significant others, and they’re talking about their significant others,” Maxen said. “And I felt guilty that I couldn’t do the same thing, that I was letting myself down.

“I want the person I’m with to be able to share that with me,” he added.

                    Maxen and his partner

He admitted it wasn’t easy for him to open up at first as he had experienced a lot of negative feelings about what he thought others might think of him.

“For a while, I had such an anger for myself and hatred that I thought was from a fear of what others might think about who I am,” Maxen said. “But that wasn’t it. It was an anger and hatred of myself because I put myself in a life where I was living by other people’s rules and not by my own.”

“It wasn’t until recently – and with the immense love and support of my family, my friends, colleagues and peers, and the courage and sacrifice from my partner – that I realized I have the right and responsibility to love and be loved, and that maybe sharing this will hopefully give someone else the strength to accept their own life and take control of their own story.”

Several people in the NFL community have also publicly voiced their support for Maxen, including Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who said he “appreciated reading Kevin’s story.”

“Kevin is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and community,” Khan said in a statement to ESPN. “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.”

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