Ted Lasso fans are praising the latest episode of the Apple TV+ comedy for its sensitive treatment of Colin’s storyline.

This season, queerness was finally introduced into the series when they confirmed that Billy Harris’ fan-favourite Richmond FC player is gay and in the closet; reflecting the harsh reality of homosexuality in professional football and its lack of openly out athletes in the process.

Episode eight saw Colin’s close friend and fellow Richmond player Isaac (Kola Bokinni) accidentally discover his sexuality. On this week’s episode, Isaac – who is hurt that Colin didn’t confide in him sooner – confronts a violent ‘fan’ in the stands after he hurls homophobic abuse at the team.

After the rest of the team mistake Isaac for being gay, as a result of his unexpected reaction to the ‘f’ word, Colin comes out to overwhelming support – and another classic bizarre analogy from Jason Sudeikis’ title character that expresses their love for him.

The scene was commended by fans, who celebrated the show’s approach to the ongoing issue of homosexuality in football.

“Ted taking the perfect approach by letting Colin know it DOES matter that he’s gay, because it’s a part of who he is,” said one viewer. “Coming out to people you care about is so nuanced. Everyone’s experience is completely unique, but truly all you want is to be seen and heard and loved.”

Another wrote: “How Ted and the team accepted Colin for who is with open arms was everything. The camaraderie of this show is truly one of the best I’ve ever seen.”

“It’s Ted recognizing all that Colin must have gone through and letting him know that he won’t have to go through it alone anymore. That’s so fucking important to see. To tell. To teach. And I’m so fucking proud of this show and all that it’s doing,” said another.

In an interview with GAY TIMES ahead of Ted Lasso’s sixth episode, which saw Colin confide in Trent Crimm (James Lance) about his sexuality, Harris said it would’ve been “ridiculous” for the show to not tackle this storyline.

“It’s happening a lot in football at the moment with Josh Cavallo, Jakub Jankto and Jake Daniels, they’ve all come out in recent years,” he said.

“I’ve been in tune with that, knowing how the sport is trying to support and give solidarity [to LGBTQ+ players] with Harry Kane [being outspoken] and when the World Cup was over in Qatar. It’s everywhere at the moment in terms of awareness.”

Hughes explained that Ted Lasso tries to show the world that we can “live in a utopia”: “This is a world that we can live in if we just listen to each other and let each other live the lives we want to live.

“It would be amazing to see that in the Premier League, that would be brilliant. I know we are lending a hand wherever we can in Ted Lasso. It’s not just about Colin’s storyline, it’s about mental health and toxic masculinity, and the storylines for both Hannah [Waddingham] and Juno [Temple] are brilliant as well.”

You can read our interview with Billy Harris in full here and see reactions from the episode below.