Kevin Maxen, the associate strength coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, is the first male coach in a men’s professional sports league in the United States to come out as gay.
He frankly expressed his reasoning for taking this step in an interview with Outsports, adding, “I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore.” I don’t want to have to lie about who I’m dating or why I’m living with someone else.”
Maxen’s determination to embrace his truth and live truthfully derives from a desire to assist others in enjoying their lives as they wish, rather than allowing fear of others’ reactions to hold them back. He hopes that by stepping into the forefront as an openly gay coach, he may inspire more people to break free from traditional restraints and be true to themselves.
Love has no limits – A path of acceptance
Maxen has been in a romantic relationship with his boyfriend, Nick, for over two years, which he was unable to publicly discuss until now. He stated, “I want the person I’m with to be able to share that with me.”
Maxen hopes that by being honest about his relationship, he will help to mainstream LGBTQ+ representation in professional sports and create an environment where coaches and players alike may freely disclose their personal lives.
Making history in the NFL
Kevin Maxen’s daring marks a significant milestone in a league where representation has been limited. Only 16 players in NFL history had openly come out as gay or bisexual as of September 2022. Maxen’s disclosure adds a new layer to the NFL’s journey toward diversity, establishing him as a true leader in the field of American men’s professional sports coaching.
Maxen’s path to self-acceptance has taught him priceless lessons about his own value and ability. “As a Black Jew who has dated both men and women, who has been a strength coach at the highest level of professional football, I’ve learned that how I look, what I believe in, and especially who I am physically or emotionally attracted to should not influence how I or others view my worth,” he says. And it surely should not dictate what I believe I am capable of accomplishing.”
A new era of support and inclusivity
Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, is unyielding in his support for Maxen’s path. “Kevin is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and community,” Khan said in a poignant statement. “I’m excited to see Kevin at training camp next week and hope that he comes to work each day during camp and throughout the season feeling confident, free, and at peace. I know our players and staff agree.”
Maxen’s bravery and honesty mark a watershed moment in professional athletics. His candor paves the path for additional LGBTQ+ coaches and players to go into the spotlight without fear of being judged or discriminated against. Kevin Maxen is an example of fortitude, love, and the indomitable human spirit as the first publicly out male coach in a major American men’s pro sports league.
Maxen joins a select number of publicly out male coaches in American professional sports leagues, illustrating that love knows no bounds and authenticity is a light of hope for many, in the words of WNBA coach Curt Miller, who publicly came out as homosexual in 2015. We applaud a future in which sports transcend stereotypes and everyone can accept their genuine self, both on and off the field, as we honor Kevin Maxen’s journey.