Prizm News / September 25, 2018 / By Bob Vitale
Wyatt Pertuset (right) is congratulated by a teammate after scoring the first touchdown of his college football career at Capital University. (Screen capture from Outsports video)

 

Capital University athlete Wyatt Pertuset is ‘setting an outstanding example,’ ESPN commentator says.

 

By Bob Vitale

It happened three weeks ago, but the first touchdown scored by an openly gay player in college football is finally getting nationwide attention. 

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Wyatt Pertuset

Wyatt Pertuset, a junior wide receiver for Capital University in the Columbus suburb of Bexley, received a shout out from ESPN’s Bob Ley a few days ago during a segment of the sports network’s “Outside the Lines” program. He called the achievement an underrerported milestone that’s maybe a sign of progress. 

Pertuset caught a 37-yard pass for his first collegiate touchdown on Sept. 1 in a game against Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. Capital and Mount St. Joseph compete in the NCAA’s Division III. 

Outsports, the LGTQ sports website, says he’s not the first gay player to score in a college game, but others came out long after their college playing days were over. Pertuset told his friends and family that he’s gay as a student at North Union High School in Richwood, about 50 miles northwest of Columbus. Outsports wrote about him in 2017. 

In a later story in Prizm, Pertuset said scoring a touchdown was his goal. 

“I feel like if I hit that mark, it will open a lot of doors,” he said. “I really feel like (if I score), the bottom line is that we can stop being underestimated. People will realize just because (someone is) gay doesn’t mean they can’t play.” 

He told Prizm this morning: “It was a really great feeling that will be at the top of my list of achievements for a while.” 

In acknowledging Pertuset, Ley said: “It took a couple of days for this to percolate because maybe, all right…it’s not such a big deal. We’ve moved beyond this, and there’s progress in this regard.” 

But, Ley said, it is a big deal. 

“God bless this kid,” he said. “He’s setting an outstanding example.” 

bobvitale@prizmnews.com
Twitter: @Bob_Vitale

 

 

Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.