Kevin Maxen, an assistant coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, made sports history after publicly coming out as gay.
Maxen, 31, opened up about his sexuality in an interview with Outsports published on Thursday, July 20. “I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore,” he explained. “I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I am seeing, or why I am living with someone else.”
The “immense love and support of my family, my friends, colleagues and peers, and the courage and sacrifice from my partner” helped Maxen feel ready to share his truth. “I realized I have the right and responsibility to love and be loved, and that maybe sharing this will hopefully give someone else the strength to accept their own life and take control of their own story,” he said.
Maxen went on to reveal he has been Dating boyfriend Nicholas Garcia for more than two years. Garcia has appeared in a handful of his Beau’s recent Instagram posts, including a slideshow of pics uploaded on June 29 and captioned, “Life as Kev knows it: June.” The carousel included a selfie of the Couple and photos of Maxen’s dog.
After meeting the families and spouses of the Jaguars team and staff over the years, Maxen no longer wanted to stay silent about Garcia. “I felt guilty that I couldn’t do the same thing, that I was letting myself down,” he shared. “I want the person I’m with to be able to share that with me.”
He continued: “As a Black Jew who has dated both men and women, who has been a strength coach at the highest level of professional football, I’ve learned that how I look, what I believe in, and especially who I am physically or emotionally attracted to should not impact the way I or other people view my worth. And it should certainly not dictate what I feel I am capable of accomplishing.”
Maxen’s disclosure is a historic one, making him the first openly gay coach of a U.S. professional men’s sports league. He quickly received an outpouring of support from his Jaguars coworkers and players.
“It is a privilege to work alongside Kevin,” Jaguars director of player development Marcus Pollard told Outsports, calling Maxen a “hardworking, dedicated and thriving” member of the crew.
Jaguars center Brandon Linder said it was “truly an honor” to be one of the first people Maxen confided in about his sexuality. “Kevin, I’m proud to call you a friend and excited to see what the future holds for you Kev,” he told the outlet. “I know your story can help so many people. You the man! All shall be well!”
Prior to joining the Florida football team’s strength and conditioning staff for the 2022/2023 season, Maxen worked as a strength coach at Baylor University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Iowa, as well as on the Army football team.
Maxen’s announcement comes two years after NFL star Carl Nassib became the league’s first active openly gay player. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” the former Las Vegas Raiders player, 30, revealed in a June 2021 Instagram video. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.”