D-III kicker becomes first active college player to publicly come out

Matt Zalaznick's picture

Conner Mertens, a redshirt freshman kicker at D-III Willamette University in Oregon, has done something that no college football player on any level had ever done before.

He came out, while still an active player. First to his coach, then to his team, and now Conner Mertens is coming out publicly.

“I'm bisexual,” Mertens told head coach Glen Fowles via Outsports.com, who informed his young kicker prior to his message that all the coach cared about was his kicker's accuracy. His off the field actions wouldn't affect his playing time, Fowles told Mertens. In fact, when Mertens asked for the meeting, Fowles and Willamette's special teams coordinator had thought he was transferring.

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