F  ootball players need to have courage. They’re constantly being chased down by bloodthirsty members of the opposing team while playing a sport that’s been known to cause an injury or two. But there is perhaps no young player quite as courageous as Xavier Colvin.

Earlier this month, the Butler Bulldogs linebacker stood on stage in front of his teammates with a microphone in his hand. He’d finally gotten used to being in his own skin and comfortable with being gay and was ready to tell his teammates.

“I don’t want to disappoint my teammates or coaches or be looked at as different. So seeing other people come out and be OK with being themselves made me realize I could be OK with being myself,” he told Outsports in a recent interview.

He’d grown up—like most kids who played sports— with heteronormative views on what masculinity is, and being gay never quite fit into those standards. Plus, it didn’t help that his father is two-time Super Bowl champion Rosevelt Colvin.

“A lot of times, when it comes to gay men in sports, we feel like people think we will be ‘less-than’ because of our personal life. I got so caught up trying to please others that I fell into a path of always trying to help others and not myself. Finally I became courageous enough to be myself.”

After coming out, Colvin’s wish is for other gay athletes to not be afraid of who they are.

“Other LGBT athletes and non-athletes have to realize they are not alone. There are other people with similar stories, similar backgrounds,” he said.

Check out the rest of Colvin’s story here.