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Stallworth admits to past homophobia

Stallworth AP

At a time when many assume that the locker room gladly will welcome only gay players, one NFL veteran has admitted that, in his younger days, he would not have been willing to embrace the concept of a gay teammate.

Redskins receiver Donte’ Stallworth recently told ESPN’s Outside the Lines (via Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post) that he was aggressively homophobic earlier in his career.

“I’m ashamed to tell it, but when I was younger I was leaving the club,” Stallworth said.  “I was maybe 24 years old. I was leaving the club and there was a gay club letting out.  And I walked out of there yelling gay slurs for no reason.”

Age and experience prompted Stallworth to change his “very homophobic” ways.

“I’ve experienced hate because of me for a number of reasons,” Stallworth said.  “For the color of my skin, or having money.  For my accident with my DUI and manslaughter four or five years ago.  When I started to look back on that, and the hate that I got from all those people and I looked at it, like, you know what?  That’s the same thing I’m doing towards gays.  So I can’t be upset with these people if I’m being a bigot and acting that same way.”

It’s refreshing candor, especially since many athletes who address this topic may not necessarily be speaking the truth but simply saying what they think the interviewer and the audience want to hear.  But it’s also troubling, because it suggests there are plenty of younger players without the benefit of Stallworth’s life experiences who may feel the same way he used to feel.

As the issue receives more attention and scrutiny, homophobic players will be less likely to ever act on those feelings.  But it would be naive to assume that every NFL player will accept a gay teammate, both in what the players say and do and in what they truly think and feel.

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42 Responses to “Stallworth admits to past homophobia”
  1. turkjones says: Jul 1, 2013 12:32 PM

    Good on ya, Donte…. I’d love to have this class act back in Cleveland if his hamstrings weren’t made out of angel hair.

  2. jjbadd385 says: Jul 1, 2013 12:35 PM

    I see nothing wrong with a man being honest, because if he has really learned from it, good for him….same as Paula Deen….you make mistakes, you learn, correct them and move on…

  3. bigjdve says: Jul 1, 2013 12:36 PM

    The test of a person is not in the missteps they make, but in how the learn, react, and move forward from them.

    Maybe he is actually learning in his life from his mistakes. If so, that is a very good thing.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 1, 2013 12:36 PM

    Fascinating discussion from Stallworth here to see the detailed thought process of how his perspective has shifted and could be similar to other people who have had a similar experience or attitude that this will probably resonate with them quite a bit.

    Hate is a 2 way street, and sometimes it doesn’t flow evenly on one side versus the other. Stallworth felt hate himself, but the perception of those offering up the hate were feeling hate of their own. That hate might have been channeled by Stallworth or not, it doesn’t matter, because as you can see even by Stallworth’s admission, is that sometimes when you are on the receiving end of hate you displace that hate and spread out to somebody else. The people giving Stallworth hate could have gotten that impetus from something else.

    All we can do each as individuals is do our best not to hate on anybody, and at least create in effect a slowdown of the hate traffic that happens to flow in our own individual lane. If everybody slows down on their hate speedometer, then more love and positive growth and evolution will ensue.

  5. thefootballgodssay says: Jul 1, 2013 12:37 PM

    #2013NFCEASTCHAMPSNEWYORKFOOTBALLGIANTS

  6. vikingsrulez69 says: Jul 1, 2013 12:38 PM

    He seems like a complex fellow.

  7. bmorelikeray52 says: Jul 1, 2013 12:40 PM

    As Macklemore once said “no law’s going to change us, we have to change us”.

  8. aaroncurryisbust says: Jul 1, 2013 12:44 PM

    Straight pride!

  9. apkyletexas says: Jul 1, 2013 12:46 PM

    I can see his point.

    Because when you get right down to it, killing a guy by running him over when you are drunk is basically the same as calling someone a bad name.

    NOT.

  10. champs794 says: Jul 1, 2013 12:46 PM

    The DUI and killing a man… that’s harder for me to relate, but we all have the moment where we come around.

    Even the most tolerant of us have said and done things they’d like to take back, and you don’t have to rewind very far to find them.

  11. redwards29a says: Jul 1, 2013 12:48 PM

    While I admire Stallworth being forthcoming, did he just compare hatred towards gays to hatred towards people who commit manslaughter?

  12. jda129 says: Jul 1, 2013 12:49 PM

    Yes, yes I am bigoted against manslaughter.

  13. thefootballgodssay says: Jul 1, 2013 12:50 PM

    THE GIANTS ARE 92-64-4 AGAINST THE DEADSKINS ALLTIME #GIANTSOWNTHEDEADSKINS

  14. dlr4skins says: Jul 1, 2013 12:52 PM

    There is no reason to hate with the exceptions of:

    Dallas

    New York

    Philly

    Still the reigning NFC EAST CHAMPION REDSKINS…………

  15. steelerben says: Jul 1, 2013 12:52 PM

    There is a difference in making the decision to get behind the wheel drunk and killing someone and being born gay. Only one of those deserves hate.

  16. vdogg says: Jul 1, 2013 12:53 PM

    Someone died becasue of his drinking and driving and now he’s a hero for not hating gay people? The guy should be in prison. End of story.

  17. granadafan says: Jul 1, 2013 12:55 PM

    Good for Stallworth. It’s pathetic that there outspoken Conservative elements out ther still preaching and encouraging intolerant bigotry and irrational hatred. Some hypocritically hide behind their religious books while some are conservatively afraid to change the way they were taught to be full of hate.

  18. CKL says: Jul 1, 2013 12:56 PM

    redwards29a says:
    Jul 1, 2013 12:48 PM
    While I admire Stallworth being forthcoming, did he just compare hatred towards gays to hatred towards people who commit manslaughter?
    _________________________________
    I watched the episiode and I don’t think that’s what he was saying. I think the point he was making is that once he had people hurling invectives at him, he understood how gay people felt, that’s all.

    I like Donte, always have since he was a Saint. He’s a good dude, though he can be a goofball. I hate drunk driving 1000000% but that accident would have happened if Donte had nothing stronger than tea in his system.

  19. b3nz0z says: Jul 1, 2013 1:06 PM

    on the one hand good for him for finally getting it. on the other hand, it sucks that people like him have to experience hatred firsthand before they can realize that it’s wrong.

  20. bobby2478 says: Jul 1, 2013 1:18 PM

    Amazing. So you mean having some empathy for others and being able to put yourself in their shoes means you actually decide to treat others as you’d want to be treated? Who’d have ever thought!

    That’s the largest problem I see today is a general lack of empathy and an unwillingness to try and put oneself in someone else’s shoes. When you have no empathy for others, you’re free to do what Stallworth was doing by being hateful towards others that you either don’t understand or who might be different from yourself.

    Once you put yourself in their shoes, and you realize it wouldn’t be so nice if everyone treated you like that, that you decide to try and treat all people better.

  21. logicailvoicesays says: Jul 1, 2013 1:25 PM

    Stallworth is living testimony to the power of the Redskins franchise. Joining the Redskins made him a much better man and redeemed him. That’s what happens when someone joins the classiest and most dominant franchise in NFL history.

  22. pillowporkers says: Jul 1, 2013 1:25 PM

    @steelerben:

    There is a difference in making the decision to get behind the wheel drunk and killing someone and being born gay. Only one of those deserves hate.

    ————————————————————-

    Maybe Donte Stallworth was born to drink and drive. Maybe Aaron Hernandez was born to be a murderer. It’s called the MAOA gene. If you carry it, you are much more likely than the average person to commit violent crimes (look it up). Why don’t we legalize serial murder then, since most serial killers are born that way? Just because you’re “born” a certain way doesn’t make your actions ok, just more explainable. This is not an argument against gay marriage, just against people suggesting that “you’re born gay (no gene has yet to be found) so being gay should be accepted by all and they should be able to get married.” That doesn’t follow, nor will it follow if they prove being gay is genetic because some people will still find the action of being gay wrong. Whether people are born gay or not shouldn’t change your stance on gay marriage is all I’m trying to say.

  23. brownsfanincali says: Jul 1, 2013 1:27 PM

    Stallworth should be sharing a cell with Hernandez… Murder is murder whether you use a gun or a car.

  24. brownsfanincali says: Jul 1, 2013 1:33 PM

    Guys like Stallworth are a great example for younger kids in the league… No wonder they feel like they can do basically anything and get away with it.

  25. gafraidh says: Jul 1, 2013 1:37 PM

    “It’s refreshing candor, especially since many athletes who address this topic may not necessarily be speaking the truth but simply saying what they think the interviewer and the audience want to hear. ”

    I agree completely! and to your follow-on point, hopefully this candor can help affect the attitudes of some of the younger players. It will likely not impact monumental numbers, but 1 or 2 or 5 helps make a difference.

    ps – (I wonder how he feels about native americans, and the “R” word? ;)

  26. erikinhell says: Jul 1, 2013 1:43 PM

    granadafan says:
    Jul 1, 2013 12:55 PM
    Good for Stallworth. It’s pathetic that there outspoken Conservative elements out ther still preaching and encouraging intolerant bigotry and irrational hatred. Some hypocritically hide behind their religious books while some are conservatively afraid to change the way they were taught to be full of hate.
    ==========================
    I didn’t know Alec Baldwin was a conservative.

    Hate comes from ignorant morons (please see above) that are unwilling to see how a person really is. The idea of not being predjudiced is a personal decision, and shouldn’t be made out of political correctness. If Stallworth is being honest about his decision, good for him. If he’s using it as his opportunity to look good for a job, then he’s just the same scumbag he always was.

  27. ademell1 says: Jul 1, 2013 1:45 PM

    this guy shouldn’t be allowed in the nfl anymore….he killed someone! involuntary or not the nfl looks terrible letting this guy get a kings ransom to play a children’s game

    even though he’s killed someone.

  28. deepfriedrabbit says: Jul 1, 2013 2:44 PM

    brownsfanincali says:
    Jul 1, 2013 1:27 PM
    Stallworth should be sharing a cell with Hernandez… Murder is murder whether you use a gun or a car.
    —————————————————-

    If you can’t see the difference between Stallworth and Hernandez, I hope for the world’s sake that you never produce offspring and your dysfunctional and irrational genes die with you.

  29. myeaglescantwin says: Jul 1, 2013 2:45 PM

    hahah,,

    I’m glad that Stallworth is playing for that rat of a team.

    What a lowlife..
    a perenially injured X convict / and convicted murderer.

    Logicalvoices says youre a city of bums and band wagon fans..
    throw your jerseys back into the closets for another 15 years you buncha turds..

    SEEYA MONDAY NIGHT.. BEDDA BRING YOW POPCORN SONSON..

  30. fwippel says: Jul 1, 2013 3:09 PM

    He needs to go on one of those morning shows and cry. Then the nation will forgive him.

  31. helladonks says: Jul 1, 2013 3:10 PM

    Yes, a man who ran over and accidentally killed a j-walker is as bad as a man who allegedly has killed/shot 5 or 6 (or more?) people.
    Trolls gonna troll I guess

  32. bleedgreen says: Jul 1, 2013 3:13 PM

    pillowporkers says:
    Jul 1, 2013 1:25 PM

    Maybe Donte Stallworth was born to drink and drive. Maybe Aaron Hernandez was born to be a murderer. It’s called the MAOA gene. If you carry it, you are much more likely than the average person to commit violent crimes (look it up). Why don’t we legalize serial murder then, since most serial killers are born that way? Just because you’re “born” a certain way doesn’t make your actions ok, just more explainable. This is not an argument against gay marriage, just against people suggesting that “you’re born gay (no gene has yet to be found) so being gay should be accepted by all and they should be able to get married.” That doesn’t follow, nor will it follow if they prove being gay is genetic because some people will still find the action of being gay wrong. Whether people are born gay or not shouldn’t change your stance on gay marriage is all I’m trying to say.

    ————————–

    Are you seriously trying to liken killing another person with 2 consenting adults doing consenting actions? Seriously?

  33. dalcow4 says: Jul 1, 2013 3:34 PM

    Will any conformist reporter anywhere please look up the word ‘phobia’ before using it ?!?!?

  34. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jul 1, 2013 3:35 PM

    But He’s much better now.

  35. hatesycophants says: Jul 1, 2013 3:37 PM

    How can you not remember whether it was 4 or 5 years ago that you killed a guy?

  36. hedleykow says: Jul 1, 2013 3:48 PM

    The predominate point that some of the more shallow-minded readers missed is that Stallworth looked within to his own faults, and in that selfless act of introspection found stupidity and hypocrisy that he no longer cared to be associated with.

    Some of the rest of you should try it.

  37. stevent92 says: Jul 1, 2013 3:59 PM

    Nothing like a confession to the popes of political correctness to cleanse a guilty soul. I bet he can eat burn his incense and eat his black bean burgers in complete nirvana tonight.

  38. pillowporkers says: Jul 1, 2013 4:03 PM

    @bleedgreen:

    Are you seriously trying to liken killing another person with 2 consenting adults doing consenting actions? Seriously?

    ———————————————————–

    Not at all. Clearly you didn’t understand my point. If you look are your point, two consenting adults, that is valid because it doesn’t matter whether you were born gay or not. I just was pointing out that just because you are born a certain way doesn’t justify the actions. “I was born this way” is a bad excuse regardless of what were talking about in life. Poor you. Then change.

  39. northstarnic says: Jul 1, 2013 5:59 PM

    Who cares what they think and feel? That’s not mine, your, or anyone’s problem. The only issue is can these tools that get paid huge sums of money act reasonably professional when on the job.

  40. patriotenvy says: Jul 1, 2013 11:48 PM

    I played recreational sports and a guy I met thru that tried to bring some illigal stuff back from vacation. To his shock he got thrown in jail for while. When he got out he told a friend that he will not be telling gay jokes anymore and didn’t want to hear them, because there is nothing funny about that stuff anymore after what he saw. So… that’s another story of some one changing thier ways.

  41. defscottyb says: Jul 2, 2013 2:45 AM

    Takes a real man to admit to his mistakes… Big ups Donte, Hail!

  42. norcalirish says: Jul 2, 2013 5:23 AM

    As long as he’s never said the N word, we coo.

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