The most popular LGBT athletes around the world

Megan Rapinoe is just one of many legends, past and present

Stars Insider

08/07/19 | StarsInsider


While sports continue to monopolize the world, the world of sports remains quite outdated in its treatment of LGBTQ athletes. It's no surprise then that very few athletes in top leagues choose to come out while playing. 

Fortunately, we've started to see changes in recent years—just look at how Megan Rapinoe has captured the globe’s attention. She not only made the brave move to be an openly gay athlete, but she also made an unwavering political statement by refusing to visit the White House should the US Women’s Soccer team win the 2019 FIFA World Cup—and then she was a critical part of taking that trophy home. 

In fact, the two teams competing in the finals had the highest number of out lesbian and bisexual players, Out Sports reports. Both the Netherlands and the US team have five out players each, which calls upon Rapinoe’s playful claim that “You can’t win a championship without gays on your team.”

Of course, there are pioneers who came out long before we were even having these conversations, like tennis legends Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. And those who chose to come out after their careers ended are trailblazers too.

So check out this gallery to see 75 athletes from around the world, of times past and present, who came out as LGBT.


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