Kevin Maxen came out as gay in an exclusive interview with Outsports. He becomes the first men’s coach in US men’s professional sports to come out publicly.
“I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore. I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I’m seeing or why I’m living with someone else. I want to express my support for people who live how they want to live, but I also want to just live and not be afraid of how people will react.”
She also revealed that she has been in a relationship for two and a half years with her boyfriend Nick. She said that she found the courage to come out of it thanks to the support of her family and friends.
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“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 of my partner, that I realized that I have the right and responsibility to love and be loved, and that maybe sharing this will give someone else the strength to accept their own life and take control of their own story.”
Maxen joined the Jacksonville Jaguars last year as an associate strength coach. The entire coaching staff, including Maxen, played a role in getting the team to the playoffs after back-to-back seasons of being the worst team in the league.
Kevin Maxen interned with the Army and the University of Iowa before getting his first coaching experience in college football. Before joining the Jaguars, he was a strength coach with Vanderbilt and Baylor.
Kevin Maxen excelled in soccer before embarking on a successful coaching career
Before becoming a coach, he was a successful football player for Western Connecticut State University. As a standout linebacker, he led the team in tackles for two seasons and finished his career with 171 total tackles. During the three seasons and 30 games that he played, he also became team captain.
His decision to come out publicly furthers his status as a trailblazer in the field of sports. As a Jewish black man, he has always stood out from the crowd.
“As a Black Jew who has dated men and women, who has been a strength coach at the highest level of professional football, I have learned that how I look, what I believe in, and especially who I am physically or emotionally attracted to should not affect how I or other people see my worth. And it certainly shouldn’t dictate what I feel I’m capable of achieving.”
He said he was moved to come clean after attending Jacksonville Jaguars events where other members introduced their family or associates and he couldn’t. Based on the team’s reaction, he shouldn’t have worried about leaving early, as owner Shad Khan told ESPN:
“Kevin is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and community. I look forward to seeing Kevin next week in training camp and I hope he comes to work every day during camp and throughout the season feeling confident, free and at peace.”
Kevin Maxen was also helped by Carl Nassib, who made history as the first openly gay active NFL player. He now joins the ranks of other coaches such as Katie Sowers with the San Francisco 49ers and Curt Miller of the WNBA. But as a man in men’s professional sports, he has made history. One hopes that others will see his example and find the strength to live his truths.