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Professional 3×3 basketball player Marco Lehmann, 27, came out as gay in a beautifully-written piece on the FIBA website.
A mainstay of Swiss 3×3 club Lausanne, Lehmann dedicated his letter to all members of the LGBTQ+ community who do not want “to live the double life anymore.”
“My name is Marco Lehmann. I’m a 27-year-old professional 3×3 basketball player and I decided I would not wait till I retire to announce that I’m gay.
"My name is Marco Lehmann. I’m a 27-year-old professional 3×3 basketball player and I decided I would not wait till I retire to announce that I’m gay."https://t.co/eNelgdm71X
— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) January 15, 2021
He added that the letter hopes to inspire future generations of athletes to just focus on their play, instead of gender or anything else.
“This is for the future generations so they can live a free sporting life without hiding. Not gonna lie, this is also for me so I can live free of this burden,” wrote Lehmann.
The Switzerland-based player opened up on his struggles and experiences with discrimination in the past that led to the particular coming out moment.
He also touched on his original plan of coming out before retirement with a dream scenario in mind: hitting a game-winner and kissing his boyfriend afterwards for the world to see.
Following the footsteps of NBA’s Jason Collins and boxing’s Orlando Cruz, Lehmann decided it was time to let the sporting world know who he truly is.
He believes athletes can only compete at the highest level when they are at peace.
“In my opinion, an athlete can only perform at the highest level if he is at peace with himself,” said the scorer.