Jakub Jankto Source: Getty Images

Soccer Star Jakub Jankto Hits Pause Two Months after Coming Out, Cites 'Mental State'

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Watch Czech soccer star Jakub Jankto come out.

Czech soccer star Jakub Jankto announced he's quitting the field for the rest of the season just a little more than two months after he came out as gay, according to ESPN.

"It wasn't the best sporting year for me," the athlete posted on Instagram. "I am all the more saddened that my health and mental state will not allow me to continue my pursuit of the title and cup." (The post is in Czech.)

The announcement comes after Jankto, a midfielder, "has played 16 games in all competitions for Sparta this term, having joined on loan from Spanish side Getafe," ESPN noted.

"In recent years, and especially the last year, so many things have accumulated around me that it is better to slow down and think about my health," the athlete, 27, wrote, according to Stats Perform.

Sparta issued a statement in which it relayed, "Club management initiated a meeting with Jakub Jankto [on] Wednesday morning," Stats Perform reported. "The meeting was arranged in response to Jakub Jankto's traffic incident on Tuesday."

"After mutual agreement, it was decided that Jakub Jankto will not participate in training sessions with the first team and will concentrate on his personal situation," the statement from Sparta added.

The team went on to say it would "not provide further information with regard to the player" and to "ask the public and media to not interfere in Jakub Jankto's personal life."

As previously reported by the Associated Press, Jankto came out in an English language video posted on Feb. 13 to Twitter, in which he said, "I'm homosexual. And I no longer want to hide myself."

The athlete added: "Like everyone else, I want to live my life with freedom, without fear, without violence, without prejudice, but with love."

Fans quickly embraced the soccer star, cheering him loudly when he appeared on the field for a match on Feb. 19 after coming out less than a week earlier. After the match, Jankto took to Twitter to rejoice that the game was "the strongest moment in my career."

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Read These Next