'Life is about doing hard things and learning from them and making a difference through those hard times,' he said.
Trigger Warning: The following content contains descriptions of depression and suicide which some readers may find distressing.
Coming out is one of the most difficult decisions of one's life. A professional basketball player for Melbourne United, a team in the National Basketball League (NBL) of Australia, Isaac Humphries, recently came out as gay in front of his fellow players in the locker room. In the video posted by Melbourne United, Humphries is seen sitting in front of his fellow players as they listened attentively to what he had to say. "This is probably going to be one of the hardest conversations I'll ever have in my life," said the Sydney-based player, "but life is about doing hard things and learning from them and making a difference through those hard times. So bear with me."
Today was a special day as we had the honour of helping @IsaacHumphries7 share his truth.— Melbourne United (@MelbUnited) November 16, 2022
We wanted to share some more of that moment with you.
This video shows a portion of our Head Coach, @DeanVickerman's remarks following on from Isaac's brave statement to his team. pic.twitter.com/XrwQVvSpz5
The 7-foot center, who is 24 years old and has previously played for the University of Kentucky and the Atlanta Hawks, shared that when he wasn't able to be who he was, he "fell into a very dark place, a very lonely place," with thoughts of suicide. 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'm gay. And I hated it about myself. I was disgusted at myself."
Humphries discussed the stigma attached to being gay in the world of sports, which drives many athletes to hide their sexual orientation out of embarrassment and fear of losing their jobs. He shared that until he was in a "community where there was pride and happiness and joy," he didn't have a wake-up call. "I thought that I could not be that person within our environment and within our basketball environment."
The world has thrown its arms around Melbourne United center @IsaacHumphries7 following his announcement yesterday.— Melbourne United (@MelbUnited) November 17, 2022
Here's just a sample of the incredible, heartfelt messages of support he's received so far.
More here: https://t.co/O7SesZN9tI pic.twitter.com/hvoD7aOonu
"But I do want to say that we, as professional athletes, we have a responsibility to set examples for people. And 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. And I know how that feels, and I want to represent those people," Humphries added.
The player asserted that his goal behind coming out is to make sure that people know that "you can be whatever you want, no matter who you are and what you do." He concluded with a message of strength: "It 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. I just want to be myself. I’ve discovered this is my purpose in life, and I’m going to give it my best go.”
🎤 It's been a big couple of days for Isaac. We caught him after the game to chat through how he's feeling and reflect on the game against the 36ers. pic.twitter.com/DlKXfKolcE— Melbourne United (@MelbUnited) November 18, 2022
His teammates applauded him at the end of the motivational speech and many even gave him hugs. Many Twitter users extended support through messages of solidarity. User @AndreasKoivisto commented, "Absolutely beautiful video. It takes an insane amount of courage to speak out about who you are in this world, I hope with this you find more peace with who you are. I'm so proud of you Isaac! More of this in professional sports! All the support to you! Live a life full of love."