Editor's note: this post contains spoilers Ted Lasso season 3, episode 3, entitled "4-5-1."
Ted Lasso, an Apple TV+ show centering around the titular character (Jason Sudeikis), an American college football coach who is hired to coach an English Premier League soccer team, AFC Richmond, even though he has no experience, has just introduced its first gay character.
Up until now, this progressive series has yet to feature an out character. However, in the third episode of the third season, “4-5-1,” Richmond left-back Colin (Billy Harris) reveals he is not only closeted, but also in a relationship with newbie Michael (Luke Ashton).
\u201chow am i supposed to pretend i'm normal today when colin hughes did this\nhttps://t.co/7HbOAgboaj\u201d
— al \ud83c\udf37 ted lasso era (@al \ud83c\udf37 ted lasso era)
The timeliness of the storyline is relevant, as at least three active football players have openly come out over the last eighteen months: first Jake Cavallo in Australia, then Jake Daniels in England, and most recently Jakub Jankto over in Prague. Their openness has also been met with overwhelming support and celebration, for the most part.
GQ UK notes that there are around 550 active players in the Premier League, which makes it statistically likely that at least one player is gay. At that, no one has come out while playing in England’s top tier since Justin Fashanu in 1990, who ultimately committed suicide eight years later after enduring massive hostility from the press.
Although England as a whole has changed in support of gay rights, the Ted Lasso storyline could be setting up an openly gay footballer in the fictional Premier League to hopefully influence the real one.
New episodes of Ted Lasso stream on Apple TV+ every Wednesday.