Kim, who shared his story on his Instagram account and through an interview with Outsports, is the first active football player at a service academy to publicly come out.
Bradley Kim, a defensive back at the Air Force Academy who was a standout player at Skyline High School in Sammamish, announced he is gay.
Kim, who shared his story on his Instagram account and through an interview with Outsports on Friday, is the first active football player at a service academy to publicly come out.
“The biggest reason I want to share this is to be able to reach people who are in similar situations struggling with the same things I have struggled with,” Kim told Outsports. “I want to be that example for kids that you can be gay, you can pursue your dreams, and you can have an athletic career. My dreams got me to a D-1 football program.
“I want to be there for people who don’t feel like they have anyone there for them, because I was that kid growing up in high school.”
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Before going public with his story, Kim, a safety for the Falcons, informed his fellow defensive backs and reportedly received a standing ovation in response.
Per Outsports, Kim had previously come out to his parents and various other Air Force teammates and coaches, all to responses of support. The Air Force Academy provided a statement to The Gazette of Colorado Springs that said, “The academy strives to foster a culture where everyone gives and receives dignity and respect so that each individual has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.”
Receiving that kind of support made Kim’s decision to come out easier. He told Outsports he felt no fear or anxiety about his decision.
“I’ve spent too many years worrying what other people will think and letting it affect what I do in my daily life,” he said. “And I’m kind of done with that. It doesn’t affect my ability to play football. It doesn’t affect my ability to serve my country. No one cares here. We all go through the same thing, we all go through basic training. What we go through going through the Academy goes way deeper than worrying about what someone will think.”
Kim was voted to the All-KingCo Class 4A first team as a safety in 2015 and 2016. According to the Outsports story, Kim said he knew he was gay in high school, but couldn’t accept it and he didn’t feel he could reveal it at the time.
Kim didn’t play for Air Force last season because of a shoulder injury suffered in basic training. In May, he posted on Instagram he is fully recovered and ready to compete in the fall.