Former baseball player Jason Burch comes out as gay

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Jason Burch, a former Minor League baseball player, has come out as gay.

Mr Burch began playing baseball professionally in 2003, and has played for a number of lower-tier teams during his time in the sport.

In an interview with Outsports, the player revealed that he had shared his sexuality with a number of team-mates – but had never been asked about it publicly.

He said: “Anyone who has played with me and has been in the bullpen with me knows I’m not afraid to talk about sex or gay rights or feminism or anything that some people might consider academic.

“I was interested in seeing how they handled it and what they thought about it.”

He joins a small group of baseball stars who have come out – including former Major League players Glenn Burke and Billy Bean, and retired Minor League pitcher John Dillinger.

Mr Burch added: “Looking back, I wish I had told the whole world that I’m gay from day one.

“That feeling of being relied upon, that people must turn to you as a closer to make things right, to have that role – and to have people have that feeling about me in that role – as a gay man, I think that would have been a powerful message.

“If we are talking about changing people’s opinions, I do think that would have been a powerful message. But I wasn’t really thinking about that at the time.”