Darren Young – the popular WWE star – has openly come out as homosexual. With his announcement, even though he’ll be the subject of some closed-minded in the short term, provides many other sports stars with an invaluable platform to realise their true identity in public, should they feel the need.

It seemed like an impromptu coming out; when asked by a TMZ photo snapper if a gay wrestler could prosper, Young replied: "Absolutely! Look at me. I'm a WWE Superstar and to be honest with you…I'll tell you right now that I'm gay. "I'm hoping to be able to make a difference, you know," Young told TMZ. "It's very important to me that people understand that somebody's sexual preference shouldn't really matter."

His comments will, hopefully, spark a change in attitudes over the next few years. However, if Pat Patterson’s story is anything to go by – the 1996 WWE Hall of Famer from Montreal – coming out as gay will take a great deal longer than we’d hope. But while attitudes are changing in wide culture – gay marriage is becoming legal in more and more countries and states – the influence is sure to spread to America’s favourite pastime: sport.

And even though wrestling doesn’t command the same attention it did during the 80s, it’s still a big enough sport to carry weight.

In a statement, WWE said: “In a TMZ interview, WWE Superstar Darren Young (Fred Rosser) revealed to the WWE Universe that he is gay. WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar.

“On Thursday afternoon, in fact, Darren participated in one of our Be A STAR anti-bullying rallies in Los Angeles to teach children how to create positive environments for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation.”

WWE world champion John Cena also welcomed the news. “Oh wonderful,” he told TMZ hours after the announcement. “I know Darren personally. Darren’s a great guy. That’s a very bold move for him. And congratulations for him for actually finally doing it.” Hopefully, more sports stars can be openly gay in NFL, Basketball and Baseball because of trail-blazers like Darren Young.