Zach Sullivan is the first-ever pro ice hockey player to come out as bisexual

Ice hockey player Zach Sullivan has come out as bisexual to mark the sport’s first Pride weekend.

Sullivan, who plays for UK team Manchester Storm, said he was coming out in the hope it would “help others”.

Believed to be the first professional ice hockey player to come out as bisexual, the 25-year-old said he hopes his decision “will give other hockey players around the country the same confidence to do the same”.

“I’m not doing this in the hope of any publicity. I’ve always been a very private guy, but I realise that I have a unique opportunity to do some good,” he said.

In a statement on Twitter, Zach Sullivan, who is from Redhill in Surrey, said he had “battled with mental health problems” but made the decision to go public “with the support, understanding and acceptance” of his family, friends and teammates.

“I finally feel ready to says; I’m bisexual,” Sullivan wrote.

“I have never been more proud to wear a jersey before, especially one that celebrates all gender identities and sexualities.”

Zach Sullivan’s statement was released over the Elite Ice Hockey League’s first-ever Pride weekend.

Sullivan’s coming out has been met with widespread support, including from Manchester Storm’s captain, Dallas Ehrhardt.

“We couldn’t be happier for our teammate and we 100% have his back,” said Mr Ehrhardt.

“The hockey world is a tight-knit supportive community and when something as important like this happens, the whole sport gets better.”

Manchester Storm’s head coach Ryan Finnerty said it was a “historic moment” because Sullivan is believed to be the first professional ice hockey player to come out while still playing.

“His strength and courage will inspire the youth of tomorrow,” he added.

In Manchester Storm’s game against Dundee on Sunday, the players wore rainbow-coloured Pride jerseys to celebrate inclusion and diversity.