Viral Video Shows Moment Aussie Basketball Star Isaac Humphries Comes Out As Gay To Teammates

Viral Video Shows Moment Aussie Basketball Star Isaac Humphries Comes Out As Gay To Teammates
Image: Isaac Humphries. Image: Melbourne United

Melbourne United National Basketball League Club’s Isaac Humphries in an emotional speech to his teammates came out as gay. 

Humphries, the youngest player to record 100 blocks in the NBL’s 40-minute era, is the first male player in a top-tier basketball league in the world to come out as gay. He is also the first-ever Australian male basketball player, and the first player in the NBL to be out gay.

Addressing his teammates, Humphries said that it was “probably one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had in my life”. 

“No matter who you are or what you do…  You can do whatever you want. That has nothing to do with your sexuality or who you are or who you’re meant to be or who you’re expected to be,” said Humphries, adding “You can still be a great basketball player and be gay.”

Trigger Warning: This story discusses suicide ideation, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

‘I’m Gay’

Humphries said he had struggled with his sexuality in the past and had come close to taking his life. 

“I fell into a very dark place, a very lonely place. I couldn’t be who I am and I attempted to take my life. The main reason behind me becoming so low and being at that point is because I was very much struggling with my sexuality and coming to terms with the fact that I’m gay,” said Humphries. 

Humphries has been with the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, the Sydney Kings and  Adelaide 36ers, before joining Melbourne United in July 2022. He said despite his victories on the basketball court, he hated himself as he thought he could never be gay and an athlete. 

“I hated it about myself. I was disgusted with myself. I thought that I could not be that person within our environment and within our basketball environment. It wasn’t until I was in a community that’s full of pride and happiness and joy and it was a big wake-up call for me,” said the player. 

‘I Didn’t Want To Hide Who I Was’

Humphries said that when he finally came to terms with his sexuality, he decided he no longer wanted to “hide who I am”.

“I decided that if I’m going to join a team, then I’m going to come out publicly and just make sure people know that you can and you don’t have to hide just because you’re an athlete,” said Humphries, who was overwhelmed with emotion and had to pause to wipe away his tears.

The young basketball player emphasised that professional athletes have a responsibility to set examples for other people. 

“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, don’t know how to exist. I know how that feels,” said Humphries. “I want to represent those people. That’s my goal behind this – to make sure people know that you can be whatever you want. 

“I just want to be myself. I discovered this is my purpose in life and I’m going to give it my best go,” he concluded as his teammates gathered around and hugged him. 

In a couple of hours after it was posted on social media, the video received over one million views.

‘Club Is Proud Of Isaac Humphries’

Isaac Humphries with his Melbourne Unted teammates. Image: Melbourne United.

Melbourne United’s Chief Executive Officer Nick Truelson called it a “momentous occasion” and said that the entire club was proud of Humphries. 

“Today is an incredible step in Isaac’s journey, and we as a club are wholeheartedly supportive of him,” said Truelson.

“For the LGBTIQ+ community to finally have representation in professional male basketball is wonderful. It has been a long time coming, and we are so happy that our club can be at the forefront of being allies in this area,” the CEO said. 

Coach Dean Vickerman said that the team had Isaac’s back. “We can’t underestimate how difficult this must have been for Isaac, but I’m really excited by the fact that he can be completely open and honest with his teammates and now ultimately, the world. It’s huge,” said Vickerman.

Many Athletes Fear Coming Out

Isaac Humphries. Image: Instagram

Pride In Sport’s National Program Manager Beau Newell applauded Humphries for his courage. 

“His journey shows the unfortunate reality that many athletes face when they are not able to enjoy the sport they love as their true selves… Like Humphries, many athletes self-edit their existence in sports and expend a good deal of their daily energy on hiding their true selves from others. His statement highlights the fear that many athletes have in coming out: that they will face potential discrimination, harassment, bullying from those within their sport and loss of professional opportunities,” said Newell. 

Pride In Sport pointed to research that showed that traditional sports are seen as unwelcome spaces for LGBTQI athletes, who fear discrimination from their teammates, coaches and clubs. 

“This is a fear that is justified for many, but as many LGBTQ athletes who have recently come out over the past few years have demonstrated, such as Adelaide United FC player Josh Cavallo most recently, it has not been their experience,” added Newell.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.



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