Abby Wambach, the greatest scorer in women’s soccer, quietly married her partner, Sarah Huffman, in Hawaii this month. Doing so, she may have made the loudest statement in same-sex sporting news this year. The civil union is much less the female equivalent of Jason Collins coming out to his teammates, and much more the equivalent of Michael Jordan marrying one of his.
What’s astonishing isn’t that such a relationship exists in professional soccer, or that the media didn’t cover it with the same eagerness of male counterparts Robbie Rogers and Jason Collins. What’s astonishing about this union, and this woman herself, is that it was just the natural thing to do, less about politics and more about love of her life, she told ESPN.
“I can’t speak for other people, but for me, I feel like gone are the days that you need to come out of a closet. I never felt like I was in a closet. I never did. I always felt comfortable with who I am and the decisions I made,” Wambach told ESPN. Wambach, The 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and international career goals leader, has lived openly as a lesbian for several years, not feeling the need to discuss her sexuality in regard to her sport, and never feeling the need to publicly come out.
“I’ve never been asked a question in my soccer world about my relationship, rightfully so because it shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t have anything to do with soccer,” Wambach reported ESPN. “My first hope is for being a genuine, honest and good person, then a great soccer player and then down the line, the choice I’ve made to marry not only my best friend and teammate, but the love of my life,“ reported ESPN.
The small ceremony held on the beach of Kauai, was a simple affair in the presence of family, friends, and teammates. And though Wambach made little noise about the occasion herself--even needing prompting from her agent to thank supporters via Twitter--she’s smart enough to understand the little noise the wedding actually did make, even garnering a response from Martina Navratilova.
Wambach has been a dominating playmaker for the U.S. national team having recently broke Mia Hamm's all-time scoring record, and again scoring for the national team in a 4-0 win over Australia on October 20. She and Huffman are teammates on the Western New York Flash in the National Women’s Soccer League.