Photo: Isaac Humphries/Twitter/Video

In a groundbreaking moment in sports, Melbourne United big man Isaac Humphries came out publicly as gay. 

“We, as athletes, as professional athletes, have a responsibility to set examples for people,” Humphries said.

“The truth is there are so many people in other worlds that are struggling every single day and don’t know how to get up, (and) don’t know how to exist. I know how that feels, and I want to represent those people.”

Upon his declaration, Humphries becomes the first openly gay cager in the NBL and is currently in all of the top professional men’s basketball leagues around the world.

The revealing of his own gender identity was posted across his social media accounts, wherein Humphries gathered his Melbourne teammates and other team personnel to boldly reveal the horrors of his past and the hardships he endured of hiding his true self.

Humphries disclosed that he almost took his life out of frustration because of being a gay roaming around the stigmatic, basketball field, but he found reasons to continue living as he landed in an environment that embraces each and every one.

“A few years ago I fell into a very dark place, a very lonely place and I couldn’t be who I am. I attempted to take my life,” he said. “The main reason behind me becoming so low and being in that point is because I was very much struggling with my sexuality and coming to terms with the fact that I am gay. I hated it about myself. I was disgusted at myself. I thought that I could not be that person within our environment, within a basketball environment.

“It wasn’t until I was in a community that is full of pride and happiness and joy, and it was a big wake up call for me … I decided that if I’m going to join a team, that I’m going to come out publicly and just make sure that people know that you can live and you don’t have to hide just because you’re an athlete.”

Humphries’ brave admission of his true identity serves as the second time that an active, professional player has come out as gay. It was in 2013 when former NBA veteran Jason Collins came out of his cave to proudly announce that he is a homosexual while playing for the Brooklyn Nets. 

Humphries’s announcement drew worldwide admiration, love, and respect throughout basketball and sports communities. 

Humphries, 24, played his collegiate gig within the Kentucky men’s basketball program for three years. He went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, though he had a short time playing for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2018-19 season.

He joined Melbourne prior to this 2022-2023 season of NBL and has been a serviceable presence at front for the club, averaging 12 markers and 5.5 rebounds in an efficient 59 percent shooting.