Australian basketball star Isaac Humphries comes out as gay in powerful video, makes history as the first openly gay player in the NBL.
“There was no reality that existed where I could be an openly gay man while playing basketball. Until now.”
Australian professional basketball player Isaac Humphries has revealed he is gay, making him the only openly gay man playing in a top-tier basketball competition.
The 24-year-old, who formerly played for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and is now contracted to Melbourne United in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL), is the second active athlete in one of Australia’s top sports leagues to come out as gay, joining A-League Men player Josh Cavallo.
Humphries made the announcement in a video shared to his social media, in which he shares the news to his NBL teammates.
“We, as athletes, as professional athletes, have a responsibility to set examples for people,” Humphries said.
“The truth is there are so many people in other worlds that are struggling every single day and don’t know how to get up, (and) don’t know how to exist. I know how that feels, and I want to represent those people.
“That’s my goal behind this: make sure people know you can be whatever you want, no matter who you are or what you do. You can be ‘Big Ice’ and be gay, and you can still be a great basketball player and be gay. You can do whatever you want.”
“It has nothing to do with your sexuality, or who you are, or who you’re meant to be, or who you’re expected to be. I just want to be myself. I discovered this is my purpose in life, and I’m gonna give it my best go.”
Humphries also opened up on the mental health battles he experienced while hiding his sexuality.
“A few years ago, I fell into a very dark place, a very lonely place,” he said.
“I couldn’t be who I am, and I attempted to take my life. The main reason behind me becoming so low and being in that point is because I was very much struggling with my sexuality and coming to terms with the fact that I’m gay.
“I hated it about myself. I was disgusted at myself. I thought that I could not be that person within our environment, within a basketball environment. It wasn’t until I was in a community that’s full of pride and happiness and joy; it was a big wake up call for me.”
Australian organisation Pride in Sport congratulated Humphries for, “addressing his challenges in continuing to play the game not being his true self, but also the relief and joy he feels for doing so and being able to be a role model for younger athletes”.
Watch the powerful video below.
— Isaac Humphries (@IsaacHumphries7) November 15, 2022