Student Athlete Who Made Headlines for Coming Out as Gay Quits College Football Team

Thursday May 2, 2019

A student at Indiana State recently quit the college's football team after making headlines when he was in high school last year for coming out as gay and being targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church.

Indiana State officials were told earlier this month that Jake Bain, who played defensive back for the school's football team, would not return for his sophomore season in order to focus on his schoolwork, assistant director of athletic communications Tim McCaughan told Indy Star.

"Jake has decided to step away from football and focus on academics. He showed a fantastic work ethic during his freshman season and represented himself, the football program and Indiana State in a first-class manner. We wish him nothing but the best," the school told the newspaper.

Bain finished his freshman season playing in four games.

"Even before I committed there I talked to my coach about my sexuality and I wanted to be openly gay at Indiana State," Bain said. "And he assured me from the very beginning that I was going to be accepted by my community at Indiana State and that my teammates were going to treat me just like anybody else on the team. That just meant so much to me."

The newspaper reports Bain was recently part of a panel at an inclusion forum held by the NCAA where the group focused on making college athletes feel comfortable on the field and in the classroom. The student tweeted about the event:

Bain made headlines, including a feature in The New York Times and an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," when he came out as gay last year while a student at a high school in Missouri. The vehemently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, known for its "God hates fags" slogan, picketed the school but students showed the young athlete support with a counter protest.

Revisit Bain on the "Ellen" show below.

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