Former Columbus Crew soccer player Matt Pacifici has come out as gay…by introducing the world to his boyfriend.
On January 21, the retired MLS player posted a picture to his Instagram feed of him canoodling with boyfriend Dirk Blanchat. The couple both grew up in Charlotte, NC.
Pacifici had a brief career as a major league soccer player, joining the Crew in 2016. During his first season, however, he sustained a major head injury during a practice session. Unfortunately, the injury would end his professional career.
Pacifici also claims the injury forced him to stay in the closet, as he feared coming out would further damage his career. “Playing the part of the straight professional athlete was much more important to me at the time than being true to myself,” he told OutSports.
Now his position has evolved. “When you’re in a relationship that makes you happy, and on social media you see people posting about their girlfriends, it feels weird not being a part of that,” Pacifici says. “You want them to know. This relationship is the one that makes me the most happy ever in my life. The more people who come out, the easier it will be for other people to follow.”
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Couldn't be happier to have signed my first professional contract with the @columbuscrewsc! Thankful to the organization and all the amazing people who have supported me along the way. Also excited to announce that I've partnered with @hummelsport and @reusch_brand. Honored to represent two fantastic brands! #crewsc #columbus #hummel #reusch