The coming out of English footballer Jake Daniels is a 'watershed moment' that every Irish club should reflect on.
That's according to John McGouran, community officer with Shelbourne Football Club.
The Blackpool player is the UK's first male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Daniels told Sky Sports: "I told my mum and my sister. The day after we played Accrington and I scored four, so it just shows how much of a weight off the shoulders it was and a massive relief".
The 17-year-old player says: "For a long time I've thought I would have to hide my truth because I wanted to be, and now I am, a professional footballer. I asked myself if I should wait until I've retired to come out. No other player in the professional game here is out.
"However, I knew that would lead to a long time of lying and not being able to be myself or lead the life that I want to.
"Since I've come out to my family, my club and my team-mates, that period of overthinking everything and the stress it created has gone. It was impacting my mental heath. Now I am just confident and happy to be myself finally."
Mr McGouran told Lunchtime Live Irish clubs should use this moment to look at themselves.
"I think it really is an opportunity... for every club in the country now to reflect on how inclusive they are, and how inclusive they want to be.
"This is a Tuesday night - there'll be football clubs the length and breath of the country at training tonight.
"If you're a football coach, take the opportunity to reflect on that; talk to your fellow coaches about it, talk to your club management about it - about how inclusive they are.
"And to try and just get rid of this taboo once and for all. Why in 2022 are we even talking about this?"
'Focus on his ability as a player'
Mr McGouran says this is a watershed moment for the sport.
"It is really significant... it's hugely brave of him, he's 17 years of age.
"He's obviously got very good support from his family and his club and from his teammates.
"He first spoke to the club's welfare officer about this last December - so they went and put a lot of things in place to ensure that Jake was fully supported.
"But it really is, in my view, a watershed moment.
"To have someone so relatable for people... he's 17, starting his career.
"Whatever about his sexuality - he's a goal machine, he scored 30 goals last season.
"And I really hope that people will focus on his ability as a player now rather than his sexuality".
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also praised Mr Daniels for "tackling head on the risk of homophobic abuse from some 'fans' in the stands, online and on the streets."
He added: "He will be role a model for tens of thousands of young men."
This is a big moment. First English professional footballer to say he’s gay in 32 years & he’s done it at the start of his career. He’s tackling head on the risk of homophobic abuse from some ‘fans’ in the stands, on-line and on the streets.https://t.co/EqKl19pMuq
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) May 17, 2022