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Conner Mertens’ boyfriend comes out as gay college baseball player

Last week, history was made when Conner Mertens, a red-shirt freshmen and kicker for Oregon’s Willamette University, became the first active college football player to come out as bisexual. Now, Mertens’ love life is back in the headlines again as his mystery boyfriend has now come out as a gay athlete.

In a new interview with Outsports, Chandler Whitney, a baseball player for the Warriors at Walla Walla Community College, explained that he felt inspired to come out by the response Merten, his boyfriend of six months, got from his coaches and his teammates after he came out.

“I’d been planning to do it at some point anyway,” Whitney told Outsports, “and seeing the reaction to Conner’s story calmed me down.”

“Being where I am in eastern Washington, it’s not the response I expected. I’m in Walla Walla, there’s not a lot of open-mindedness on the surface,” said Whitney of the experience.

“I didn’t necessarily expect hostility. I expected a guy or two to feel uncomfortable or awkward. Everyone on the team shook my hand, gave me a hug and said we’re a family and they had my back. The guys I thought would feel the most uncomfortable said don’t worry about a thing, it’s not a big deal,” he explained.

Whitney says that he’ll play for Walla Walla for the next two years before transferring to a four-year college to earn a degree and play baseball.

It’s inspiring to hear such stories of acceptance in the world of sports and we hope the younger generation of athletes not only brings in a new wave of equality in sports, but also inspires the veterans on the field to be more publicly supporting and accepting of the LGBT community as well.

Check out some other athletes who have come out after the cut. – nicholas robinson

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