Kevin Maxen has become the first openly gay male coach in major American pro sports after coming out in an interview with Outsports. Maxen, who serves as the Jaguars' strength and conditioning coach, said he didn'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." Furthermore, Maxen said that he made the decision to publicly come out after battling with the feeling that he couldn't be open about himself at team events where the staff's families were introduced. Maxen has been in a committed relationship for over two years. Outsports shared images of Maxen with his partner, Nick.
Additionally, Maxen has received the full support of the team in his decision to come out. "Kevin is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and community," owner Shad Khan told ESPN. "I look forward to seeing Kevin next week at training camp and hope that he comes to work each day during camp and through the season feeling confident, free, and at peace. I know our players and staff feel the same."
NFL Marks Another Chapter In Queer History
Maxen's announcement is the latest piece in a growing queer history for the NFL. Several women who have served on NFL staffs, such as former Niners coach Katie Sowers, have also been openly out. However, Maxen is the first male coach in the league, and major pro sports, to be out also. Curt Miller, who currently coaches the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, is also openly out as a gay man.
However, Maxen follows in the footsteps of the NFL's first openly gay player. In 2021, linebacker Carl Nassib became the league's first openly gay player to play in an NFL game. In fact, it was Nassib who would connect Maxen with Outsports. Maxen had initially contacted Nassib in early 2022, seeking advice about coming out and building LGBTQ+ acceptance in American sports.