Kevin Maxon, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ associate strength coach, came out as gay on Thursday, in what is believed to be a first for a male coach in American professional sports.
Maxon, who is with Jaguar from 2021, told outsports He made the decision to come out in hopes of inspiring others, while staying true to who he really is.
“I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore,” Maxon told Outsports. “I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I’m seeing, or why I’m with someone else.
“I want to be vocal in my support for people who want to live, but I just want to live and not feel scared about how people will react.”
Maxon has been involved with football for many years, having served as a strength coach at Baylor and Vanderbilt before he played in college for Division III Western Connecticut State University.
The strength coach said he struggled with his sexuality in college, but hoped Jaguars players would respond positively to the news.
Maxon told Outsports that his achievements inside football should put doubters at ease.
He said, “I have a great sense of humor.” “So I can joke around with a lot of people and not take anything personally.”
Maxon said that he decided to come out because of being around the staff and players in the team.
He saw other people inside the organization introducing their families, and this made Maxon want to be able to do the same.
Maxon said he’s been dating his boyfriend, Nick, for more than two years, and said he feels guilty that he couldn’t share that part of his life and struggles to reconcile those feelings.
In February 2022, Maxon reached out to Carl Nasib, becoming the first NFL player to come out, a year before they decided how and when to come out.
Maxon said, “For a while I had so much anger and hatred for myself that I thought it was due to fear of what others would think of me.” “But that was not the point. It was anger and hatred towards me because I had put myself in a life where I was living not by my own rules, but by other people’s rules.
“And it was right to be angry with myself for thinking that I had to live in someone else’s image.”
Jacksonville’s director of player development, Marcus Pollard, had positive things to say about Maxon.
“In an environment that is as diverse, it is a privilege to work with Kevin who is hardworking, dedicated and accomplished as a strength and conditioning coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Pollard told OutSports.
Training camp for the Jaguars’ rookies will open on Friday, and the rest of the team will report on Tuesday.
Jacksonville is coming off a season in which it won the AFC South with a 9–8 record and defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in a memorable game in the Wild Card Round before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round.