Kevin Maxen, who works as an associate strength coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, recently revealed that he is gay, making him the first openly gay male coach to work in a major U.S.-based professional league.
In an interview released Thursday, 20 July, by Outsports, Maxen revealed his s*xual orientation. Maxen, who has been with the Jaguars since 2021, said that he decided to come out to influence others while remaining true to himself.
“I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore,”
“I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I am seeing or why I am living with someone else.”
“I want to be vocal in support of people living how they want to live, but I also want to just live and not feel fear about how people will react.”
Maxen has been involved in football for numerous years, first as a Division III Western Connecticut State University player and then as a strength coach at Baylor and Vanderbilt.
The strength coach admitted that he struggled with his s*xuality in college, but he is optimistic the Jaguars players will react positively to the news.
Maxen told Outsports that his football achievements should dispel any doubts.
“I have a pretty good sense of humor,” he said.
“So a lot of the guys I can joke with and not take anything personally.”
Maxen stated that being among the team’s personnel and players influenced his choice to come out. Maxen witnessed others inside the organization exposing their families, inspiring him to do the same.
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Maxen said he’s been dating his boyfriend, Nick, for over two years, felt awful that he couldn’t share that aspect of his life with him, and battled to reconcile those sentiments.
“For a while I had such an anger for myself and hatred that I thought was from a fear of what others might think about who I am,” Maxen said.
“But that wasn’t it. It was an anger and hatred of myself because I put myself in a life where I was living by other people’s rules and not by my own.”
“And I was right to be angry at myself for thinking that I had to live in the image of anyone else.”
Jacksonville’s head of player development, Marcus Pollard, spoke highly of Maxen.
“In an environment that is diversifying, it is a privilege to work alongside Kevin who is hardworking, dedicated and thriving as a strength and conditioning coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
The Jaguars rookies report to training camp on Friday, and the rest of the squad reports on Tuesday.
Jacksonville is coming off a 9-8 season in which it won the AFC South and defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in a historic wild-card round before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round.
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