Coming out – In 2011, Anton Hysen became only the second active footballer to come out as being gay -- more than 20 years after Justin Fashanu did so. While Fashanu was a high-profile star in England, Hysen plays in Sweden's lower leagues.
Rainbow Laces – Hysen supported a campaign asking players to wear rainbow-colored laces to promote awareness of homophobia in football. However, Fulham's David Stockdale (pictured) was one of the few players at British clubs who took up the invitation.
Rogers retirement – Former United States and Leeds United striker Robbie Rogers used his website to announce he was gay earlier in 2013 -- but then promptly retired from football at the tender age of 25. However, just months later he returned to the game with Major League Soccer team Los Angeles Galaxy.
Fashanu suicide – England international striker Fashanu, the country's first £1 million black footballer, could not live with the scars of his revelation. He committed suicide in 1998.
Breaking taboos – Former NBA player John Amaechi, who was raised in Britain, broke barriers as the first professional basketballer to announce he was gay in 2007. He made the revelations in his autobiography after retiring from the game.
Collins' brave move – Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards became the first active NBA player to announce that he is gay on April 29, 2013. The 34-year-old was made a free agent in July but said he wanted to continue playing.
Tennis pioneer – Sport's biggest lesbian star is 18-time grand slam tennis champion Martina Navratilova, who announced she was gay shortly after gaining U.S. citizenship in 1981. Her revelation came relatively early in her career and she went on to win many more titles.
Equal rights – American four-time Olympic gold medallist Greg Louganis came out as gay when he was diagnosed with HIV in 1988. He told CNN's Piers Morgan in 2012 he believes in "equal rights for everybody."
Earning respect – Former Wales rugby union captain Gareth Thomas described the conflict between his sport and his sexuality when he came out in 2009, telling the Daily Mail newspaper: "It is barbaric. I could never have come out without first establishing myself and earning respect as a player."