Report: Gay player “strongly considering” coming out

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When it comes to the NFL’s willingness to accept an openly gay player, some think that the absence from the NFL of an openly gay player proves the league isn’t ready.

Under that standard, the NFL may soon be ready.  Ready or not.

Mike Freeman of reports that “a current gay player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months — and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career.”

Per Freeman, the player fears the reaction not from within the locker room, but from homophobic fans.  And that’s a legitimate concern; the combination of paying for a ticket and supporting a team and consuming a little alcohol (or a lot) turns normal people into loud, classless, profane jerks who will do and say anything to get under the skin of the members of the visiting team.  And sometimes the members of the home team.

We’ve been discussing the issue of gay NFL players with folks in and around the game for the past several weeks, and the consensus is that, because sexual orientation isn’t obvious, a gay football player will be inclined to remain discreet, because football players ultimately are just that — football players.  They want to play football, and the fame/notoriety/whatever that comes from coming out will serve only to keep the focus on something other than football.

Most players don’t want to create distractions, for any reason.  Players who aren’t stars fear that, if they create distractions, the team will choose another player of relatively equal skill who doesn’t draw attention away from the team.

Team is the key.  Most football players are committed to that concept.  Drawing attention to themselves undermines the philosophy of team first.

But this doesn’t mean a player who perhaps sees his career ending won’t consider the boost that may come from coming out.  That’s why the precise language of Freeman’s report is intriguing.

“The player would attempt to continue his career” after coming out, Freeman writes.  This suggests that the player may not currently have a team, or that the player believes he may not make it onto the final 53-man roster of the team for which he currently plays.

We’re reluctant to apply cynicism to what would be a watershed moment for pro sports, but it would be naive to assume, given the team-first focus of football, that a gay player thinking about coming out of the closet hasn’t considered both how the move could hurt him and how it could help him.  For a marginal player who may be on his way out of the league, the indirect benefit of coming out could be getting another chance to play from a team that chooses to embrace diversity — or that doesn’t want to be perceived as shunning it.

Regardless of the motivation or the timing, it will require significant courage for any current NFL player to come out.  And we hope that the decision by one gay NFL player to embrace who he is will prompt more to do the same, immediately thereafter.  That way, the distraction will be diluted and those who would begrudge people the ability to simply be who they are would have reason to quickly get past an issue that has no bearing on a person’s football ability.

199 responses to “Report: Gay player “strongly considering” coming out

  1. Good luck. I support him fully, but man, given the macho culture around football and the meatheadedness of some players and fans, I am happy I am not him.

  2. Have straight players come out? Just leave your private matters to yourself & your friends, family.

  3. Good luck..if it happens the media will make a bigger deal about it then the actual players and fans..

  4. It’s 3% of the population, maybe. Come out already, gays can marry, let’s get this silly issue behind us. The NFL and indeed the country have much, much bigger challenges in the coming years than this nonsense.

  5. It was bound to happen eventually and i’m all for it. Let him come outta the closet and live his life however he wants. People might have an issue with it but if you don’t do something just because you’re afraid of pissing someone off then you aren’t living life to the fullest.

  6. Is this because of the latest Necessary Roughness Episode where the QB came out.

  7. You better hope it’s a good player, because if he’s cut that team is going to be under a huge amount of scrutiny. People will forever question whether it was because of his sexuality.

    Same with commentators and analysts (no pun intended).

  8. Well, it is the perfect time for him to come out, he’s on top of his game and one of the best QB’s in the league…….Hello Mr. Rodgers.

  9. My guess is that he (this player) has been very high profile on network tv political shows lately. Best of luck, bold move for sure.

  10. I would applaud this decision. For the sake of the player I hope he’s a good player rather than a fringe guy because a great player announcing something like that could really shut up a lot of idiots.

  11. Ya know – this is going to end up like when Rob Halford of Judas Priest came out years ago.
    After the initial shock, everyone realized that the dude RULES and moved on.
    Do it clean.

  12. Among the many issues the player, team and management have to deal with is that a mostly liberal, non sports oriented media would turn this player into an instant celebrity, and if he is a marginal pro or draft prospect, the team he’s currently signed to or team(s) that would have a draft need at his position would feel PR pressure to retain the player or draft the player where he’s graded or the team(s) would be labelled anti-gay and may face political or other organized protest and scrutiny for passing him over. As with Tebow, there may be teams that would want the openly gay player, but would be leery of the media baggage that would come with the signing.

  13. I say who cares to both sides of the argument. No one should care if someone who happens to be gay is playing in the NFL and no gay player should feel like they need to come out about it. Why draw attention to something that doesn’t matter in the first place? NFL > TMZ…

  14. “Have straight players come out?”

    Every time a straight player dates a pop starlet or Victoria’s Secret model, he comes out. Every time he and his wife have a new baby, he comes out. You don’t notice it because heterosexuality is the norm.

    Now imagine a player dating another famous man. Or he and his partner adopting a baby. Would that be coming out, or would that just be his life?

  15. Why is it anyone elses business who is doing what in the bedroom? If we all “came out” with what we were doing in the bedroom I am guessing that everyone would be looking at each other pretty weird on a daily basis.

  16. To Blackfootkiller:

    The point is so that he can live his life and not have to hide who he is. Without knowing the man, I can almost guarantee you that he doesn’t want the attention from it. But the minute he steps outside with another man in public, it’s going to become a story whether he announces it or not.

  17. I commend this person for trying to initiate change.

    My guess is its a mediocre player with a small eye on cashing in on the marketing opportunities.

    Will those outweigh the negative reaction he’ll likely receive from ignorant and unruly individuals? Not even close.

  18. Different circumstances, but Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. National Soccer team came out just before the Olympics and she is more popular than ever. I really think the issue is overblown.

  19. blackfootkiller says: Mar 25, 2013 4:28 PM

    What’s the point?
    What would our world be like if everyone wore their sexuality on their sleeve?
    Nobody cares what you do in private…
    And most of us don’t want to know.


    Ignorance of the highest degree. The point isn’t attention. The point is that gays and lesbians are treated as second class citizens. They are denied equal rights and protection under the law.

    There is a discriminatory culture in the United States whether you want to see it or not. Many gay teens commit suicide because ending it all seems easier than being themselves. The more actors, politicians, athletes, etc. that come out, the more likely a gay or lesbian teen is to look in the mirror and truly accept themselves.

  20. ty46 says:
    Mar 25, 2013 4:24 PM
    Have straight players come out? Just leave your private matters to yourself & your friends, family.


    Player A: What did you do last night?
    Player B: Just took the wife out for sushi.

    That would be something that would be discussed in the locker room. Why would it be wrong if wife was replaced with husband or boyfriend?

  21. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No one cares what you do in the bedroom. Let your play speak for itself. If your sexuality becomes a bigger issue than your skills on the field, people in the locker room and out will hate you just the same. Just ask Tebow.

    Why? there are people working hard to get recognized for their skills, on the field, and they won’t like it if someone gets more publicity for something that has nothing to do with football. Especially if there are people who are better.

  22. This dude should just keep it to himself. Nobody really cares. If he wants to promote some sort of agenda, the media will surely make him into some sort of hero.

  23. calicowboysfan86 says:
    Mar 25, 2013 4:32 PM
    I say who cares to both sides of the argument. No one should care if someone who happens to be gay is playing in the NFL and no gay player should feel like they need to come out about it. Why draw attention to something that doesn’t matter in the first place? NFL > TMZ…

    A gay player feels the need to come out because they aren’t true to themselves. They’re pretending like they’re someone else. If/when they come out, they don’t have to worry about hiding anything.

  24. “For a marginal player who may be on his way out of the league, the indirect benefit of coming out could be getting another chance to play from a team that chooses to embrace diversity”

    You don’t honestly believe a team that would otherwise not be interested in a player would suddenly sign a guy because he was gay, do you? That’s absolutely ridiculous.

    If anything it’s the complete opposite. I doubt that a team would pass on a guy because he’s gay, but they may pass because they don’t want to deal with the media circus and potential locker room issues it could cause.

    If it were a pro bowl caliber player, sure, but if it’s a marginal player that’s still not on a roster, then teams will likely pass.

  25. I don’t really care one way or the other but if he is on the bubble to be cut, he may want to consider that the exposure could cause a distraction to him.

    Borderline players need their focus on making the team. This isn’t going to be a ‘1 interview for a fluff piece on SportsCenter” type of deal. If you’re hanging on by a thread, the pressure you think you can put on a team may be lessened by the pressure you’ve put on yourself.

    It will eventually happen. Many people will celebrate it. Unfortunately, many people will criticize. Many of us will be ambivalent. But all of us will be exposed to a ton of media coverage of it. That first player will need to be able to handle the that. It would be a tremendous distraction for most people. And if it doesn’t go well, it may be a long time before someone else is willing to do it.

    For those reasons, I hope when it happens it is an estalished player still in or close to their prime.

  26. thesmartest1 says: Mar 25, 2013 4:27 PM

    Please, keep your private stuff private. Straight people do it all the time.


    This is a terrible argument. We live in a hetero-normative culture. Everyone is assumed to be straight. Most football players mention their wives and families. It’s not as if a gay player is going to divulge details of his sex life.

  27. Leave the bedroom out of it. Can you imagine what it would be like if you were criticized for just holding hands with the person you love on a daily basis? As I said above, the guy just wants to live his life.

  28. blackfootkiller says:
    Mar 25, 2013 4:28 PM
    What’s the point?
    What would our world be like if everyone wore their sexuality on their sleeve?
    Nobody cares what you do in private…
    And most of us don’t want to know.
    The point is to be able to be true to yourself just like every heterosexual person in society. If you can’t understand that, how are you supposed to understand the reaction he gets once he does come out.

  29. No one cares gay player. Why do you need the attention of the world to announce your sexuality? Want a 30 min ESPN show too?

  30. It’s also possible its a player who had a good run in the NFL, saved money and knows their best pay days are behind them, decided to retire and come out, and then realized that if they tried to play one more year or even a few games at backup, at the veteran minimum with nothing guaranteed, after coming out, it would give them a place in history and be watershed moment for their cause.

  31. It’s not about what the guy is doing “in his bedroom.” There is more to a relationship than sex. It’s relevant because, in case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a major social issue right now. Coming out would be important because, like it or not, the stigma with sports (especially football) is that a gay man isn’t tough enough to compete.

    I hope he chooses to come out and pave the way for a young generation to see sexuality and athletic prowess independent of each other.

  32. Feels manufactured, just let it happen naturally. It is more meaningful if it happens organically rather than at some over-hyped press conference with a bunch of rabid, drooling press members who will hound the guy and his team for weeks on end.

  33. It’s weird, in my professional career, I’ve never ever felt the need to explain my sexual orientation to anyone. It’s never even crossed my mind. It’s like politics or religion, I never bother talking about those either. Not sure why people feel the need to talk about this in the workforce, you get paid to do a job, not to parade your beliefs, politico leanings, sexual orientation, etc. I’ve had co-workers try to talk to me about it and I immediately shut them down “Dude, I dont talk politics at work, BRA!” Very simple, everyone is capable of doing it….

  34. @mondosalvo

    Valid point. Feeling pressured to keep your life from “getting out” would get exhausting. What if players started dating other players etc.? Would people stop buying their jerseys? The media would eat it up. The sad truth is there are plenty of ignorant people in the world. These players will go through hell just like every person who’s been on the forefront of any culture change/movement.

  35. it is a pretty ignorant comment when some one says straight people don’t come out or keep it private. Straight people flaunt their sexuality every day and a man coming out of the closest regardless of whether or not he’s a star football player or not will encourage others to do the same and maybe make a few people a little more tolerant of those who in their eyes are different.

  36. This is a terrible argument. We live in a hetero-normative culture. Everyone is assumed to be straight.

    98% of men are heterosexual. It’s the correct assumption, not a conspiracy.

  37. Talking about private. Its about bringing that person’s boyfriend or whatever it may be to events. Or taking pictures or not purely hiding the relationship! Ya’ll sound so dumb. As if you don’t mind the player being gay but he’s purposely trying to get attention and shouldn’t. Come on now.

  38. wouldn’t blowing up the story of a gay athlete coming out of the closet be opposite of the point about it shouldn’t be a big deal? who cares, let people live there lives gay or straight.

  39. “The player would attempt to continue his career…”

    Sounds like he is currently a Free Agent. Let the speculation commence.

  40. the combination of paying for a ticket and supporting a team and consuming a little alcohol (or a lot) turns normal people into loud, classless, profane jerks who will do and say anything to get under the skin of the members of the visiting team. And sometimes the members of the home team.

    That is why the Stadiums throughout the league have policies, rules to stop garbage like this. If some drunk ass wants to shout out nasty stuff towards any minority, then he or she can be booted out of the stadium just as quick. If I were the NFL I’d make it a priority to get rid of fans of this nature. There is no place for garbage like this in the NFL. 97% of fans would agree that the remaining 3% needs to go.

  41. You have got to love the reflexive urge to act like straight people aren’t public with their sexuality. Can you really be so locked into your point of view that you can’t perceive the million little ways that you casually, that is without fear of reprisal, indicate your sexual preference? For example, every time you mention your spouse or make a side comment to one of your friends about how hot someone is with that certain tone of voice that indicates desire, you are acting in a way that only a person who is ‘out’ can act. The fact that you didn’t have to come out specifically as straight doesn’t change the fact that you are out and enjoy the peace of mind that goes along with not having to hide the million conversational and behavioral cues based on your sexual orientation.

  42. you can’t say keep your personal life out of it he doesn’t necessarily need to come out at a press conference that would be wrong I would assume he should just live his life and not hide it and people will find out. to announce it is just being selfish

  43. If looking for acceptance, why not just admit it casually and move on, laugh about it even. “hey im gay, also I have a house in myrtle beach and i play the tuba, any questions?” The fact that there is a production being made out of it makes it not the norm.

  44. i think everyone would agree that a gay player should be allowed to date someone publicly and not live in the shadows, just like straight players get to do. so if he does that, he’s going to have to come out. there’s nothing about wanting to wear his sexuality on his sleeve in a different way than straight people. he is just going out in public with a significant other.

  45. The only thing about this that has me cringing is that they won’t just be football players anymore, they’ll be gay football players. So no matter what he does afterwards it will be with, “first openly gay player” attached to every play he makes.

  46. What’s the over/under that it is a kicker? All jokes aside, if the person can play and help the team win, I could care less. Non-issue as far as I’m concerned.

  47. The one thing that i continued to see through out these comments were people thinking that just because some gay football player, or just gay man, comes out to being gay that they are going to be spilling every detail of their sex life. No. Stop being ridiculous. Now as for the player coming out, I just hope he doesn’t feel outside pressure to do it, it should be done on his terms when he’s ready, and good luck when he does. But he could be a role model cause i guarantee you there are other gay athletes in the NFL (and other leagues) and they could live a lot more free if they knew they could be them selfs in the locker room and still be one of the guys and contribute to the team and even be a star/successful player.

  48. It certainly will take an enormous amount of courage to come out considering the macho mindset inherent to football. I wonder when coach jim hairbow will come out?

  49. I wish the player well, and I have no hatred for anyone, but really…..whats the point? I’d think it would be better to simply leave well enough alone.

    Too many closed minded neanderthals with only half-functioning brains to deal with at the stadium. Do whatsver makes you happy, but dont invite trouble when it’s not completely neccessary.

  50. My guess is that when this player comes out, everyone will go “Duh, everybody knew that.”

    Maybe a high profile quarterback who has a good looking wife as a cover? Any guesses?

  51. As a fan, if you’re good at football, I don’t care.

    If you’re not good at football, I still don’t care, but I will heckle you for not being good at football.

  52. There have been rumors around a few players in the league for years. One is a former Brown, and if you notice some of the most active players on supporting gay marriage rights/equality are Browns players. I think 3-5 of them signed that petition last week. Anyways, it will be a big deal but it will happen soon. The election involved this issue, the US Supreme Court has 2 cases this week on this issue and now its heating up in America’s favorite sport. This is clearly an issue that is at the forefront of America’s collective conscious regardless of how you feel personally.

  53. What does this gay player have to gain by coming out? Did I miss that point in the article? I can certainly see a risk to coming out.

    Probably best just to stay in the proverbial closet. Do we really need to know?

  54. The way I see it, and the reason why this is a story:

    This player most likely wants to live his life the way he wants. He needs to be able to relax, to let people know that he’s gay, and to move on. I’m sure he’d love more than anything to do that.. but he can’t.

    Imagine if one of the biggest names in football was randomly seen walking down the street, hand in hand, with another man. Do you think it would be less of a media frenzy than him admitting it up front, or more? I’m willing to bet it’d be more.

    Let’s face it – with as many football players as there are, there are many who have played the game, and who are playing currently, who are gay. We just need the first guy to come out and admit it, and then it will all fade into nothingness.

    It’s just that nobody wants to be “that guy”.. and I think a huge part of it is about the not wanting to be in the spotlight, rather than being afraid of who he is and the reactions he’ll get.

  55. Being gay doesn’t affect anyone’s ability to do anything, much less play football. The only people who are going to make coming out hard on this player are the media pundits who say “it’s not a big deal” but talk about it every 4 minutes.

    Whoever this guy is, SidelineMOB wishes him good luck. Especially if he plays for Jacksonville, because they’re going to be terrible.

  56. What concerns me is the question of to what extent such a player would be exploited by the media. There are plenty of gay news personalities like Harvey Levin who would sensationalize the story and turn it into a much bigger circus than it needs to be, which is quite ironic since the entire point is for the player to keep some sense of privacy and dignity. It’d be really insulting to a player to be bombarded by members of the media with questions grilling him about his lifestyle, when all he wants to do is play football and win a championship. The gay community could be excited over a fairly high profile individual coming out, but the media would exploit him and turn the story into a circus. I think that would be far more excruciating than drunk fans at a game yelling and screaming horrible things at him.

  57. The NFL is behind the times on this issue. I really don’t see this as a big deal. People will get over it faster than many might think. It will create a stir at first but will quickly blow over.

  58. I’m actually a bit surprised, I thought all the comments would be predictions of who turns out to be surprisingly gay, not all this thought and introspection and intellectual discussion of the topic. Just names and so forth-

    Oh well, my prediction is….I don’t wanna say in case I ever meet the guy or end up on a sports show for all my brilliant commentary

  59. Somehow I don’t expect this player to follow up his disclosure with behavior that would intentionally make his teammates uncomfortable in the locker room.

    There’s something like 1700 players in the NFL. Years ago I heard a statistic that maybe 10% of the population is gay. Even if it’s half that, that’s still over 80 players in the NFL.

    It just seems ridiculous to support a culture that forces these guys to pretend to be completely different from who they really are off the field.

    If they are badass football players who are always there for their team and quality people to boot, in due time this will not be as much of a issue as some people expect it to be.

    No one saying that it should be mandatory to come out but why keep people who are supposed to be your brothers living in a bubble of fear?

  60. These comments below make me absolutely sick. These are probably the same people who would see a woman getting abused and tell the husband to “keep it at home” or “keep it in the family.” WTF is wrong with you people? And to answer your question ty46, YES! Straight people have come out because they don’t have to live in fear about identifying who they are. Do you get it yet? Telling someone to keep that private is discrimination.

    thesmartest1 says: Mar 25, 2013 4:27 PM

    Please, keep your private stuff private. Straight people do it all the time.

    ty46 says:
    Mar 25, 2013 4:24 PM
    Have straight players come out? Just leave your private matters to yourself & your friends, family.

  61. Just a few years ago people were concerned that a gay football player would infect others with AIDS through body fluid contact on the field.

    Remember when the NBAer’s all kissed Magic Johnson to show they weren’t afraid of “contact”?

    Boy, have we come a long way in a short time.

  62. Anyone remember this?

    “In consecutive weeks, he was accused by players from the opposing team of grabbing them in their private parts during play.”

    just saying…

  63. SilentMajority says:
    Mar 25, 2013 4:52 PM
    The only thing about this that has me cringing is that they won’t just be football players anymore, they’ll be gay football players. So no matter what he does afterwards it will be with, “first openly gay player” attached to every play he makes.

    Do you feel that way about Jackie Robinson? Or Bill Russell? Or Neil Armstrong?

    Someone has to be the first. It will always carry a caveat. That isn’t a bad thing.

  64. To all the “keep your private life private” posters.

    Should I not hold my wife’s hand in public?
    Should I not wear my wedding ring?
    Should I not be able to give her a quick kiss hello when we meet somewhere public?
    Should I not be able to declare her my spouse on my tax return?
    Should she not be able to visit me in the hospital?
    Should she not be able to inherit my property when I die?

    I love her and I have absolutely no intention of keeping that a secret.

  65. It would be funny if that player was AP, Peyton Manning, or anyone else of that stature. The media, not the fans would be the ones making a big deal out of it. You thought all this Tebow media nonsense was overdone, well this would be crazier yet.

  66. 95% of the world is full of good people. These 95% are not going to care, and still play football once this player comes out. 5% of the World is bigots and pigs. You will always gonna have haters. Why hide who you are for the 5% live your life. Hiding sucks. I did it for 27 years. Come out so we can start the change. Equality for everyone. <3

    – MTF transwoman

  67. Everyone saying keep it to yourself I bet most of you are in line for the gossip when a straight player gets married

  68. I’m all for people expressing who they are and no one should be ashamed of who they are but I would also say that whoever this player is they are about to unleash a bunch of unwanted attention and distractions on his team and it may hurt their winning chances…not to mention the mentality of football could draw lines in the locker room causing conflict… I just hope it’s not my team. Good luck.

  69. I’ll bet his agent is strongly talking him out of it. I’ll bet it doesn’t happen either. It’s 2013, but coming out would still kill his market value. There’s still a really strong stigma in the NFL with being gay–it’s not Jackie Robinson-level hatred but there’s still a lot of animosity. It’s hard enough for non-gay veteran players as is. It’s unfair, but it’s not worth adding another negative factor. Unless it’s Tom Brady (which wouldn’t surprise me), it’s just not worth it because people aren’t ready for it.

  70. The comedian in me wants to make a joke…but I support this decision so all I can think off is;

    “With all of his preach-iness, we know it won’t be Tebow.”

    billsfaninmiami says:
    Mar 25, 2013 4:32 PM
    Ya know – this is going to end up like when Rob Halford of Judas Priest came out years ago.
    After the initial shock, everyone realized that the dude RULES and moved on.
    Do it clean.

    Couldn’t’ve. Said it. Better.

    Buffalove man

  71. Personally I dont care. But why wait a few months? Waiting for a guaranteed contract or to make sure he is on a roster?
    I hope he does not make this a political stand, if he does it will make it harder for the fans to let him live his own life.

  72. I LOVE (Sarcastically) all the commentors on this page saying for the Player to just “”Keep his Private life private”’… if a player going around town with his BF would be “Private”… Thats the whole reason gay people feel like they HAVE to announce it because if discovered IT would be news.. Im hetero, but if I got out on a date and kiss my wife no one cares, If an athlete goes out on a date and Kisses his BF (if he is not out) you better believe it would be news (and he would be outted anyhow)… When I read lame comments like “”keep your gayness to yourself””, it just show how unaware that person is of their own society….

  73. I feel like people who aren’t fully behind gay rights these days are getting crucified. Like the media and other people of influence make you feel like an uncivilized animal if you don’t get behind the gays 100%
    Let them get married and whatever else they can’t do, they will see marriage these days is just a piece of paper and putting their significant other on their insurance. I think gay couples may have a stronger bond now based on the fact they are discriminated against, and that will be realized years after the ban is lifted.

    I don’t get how I work 52 hours a week, pay taxes and all that yet it’s still frowned upon and downright illegal for me to smoke pot, just like gay rights it’s a minority issue but I just wish it got the same political and media backing.

  74. SilentMajority says: Mar 25, 2013 4:52 PM

    The only thing about this that has me cringing is that they won’t just be football players anymore, they’ll be gay football players. So no matter what he does afterwards it will be with, “first openly gay player” attached to every play he makes.


    Jackie Robinson managed to do okay with that same stigma when he broke the color barrier in baseball. He knew going in that it would be difficult but he wanted to play the game he loved and broke down doors for many, many other players.

    I am sure the first gay player to come out will make it much easier for subsequent players to come out which is a good enough reason in and of itself to do so. While many on the board are saying they don’t care about players sexuality, like it or not many people still think it is okay to discriminate against gays. Nothing sends a stronger message against discrimination than that first brave soul who stands up against it.

  75. If a player is gay, he should come out. He’d be set for life as the gay athletic equivalent to Cher, Madonna, disco music, etc.

    In addition, he could stop getting beards and just live his life freely.

  76. I’d be more impressed, considering the media backlash they’d get, with an NFL player coming out in favor of 2nd Amendment rights… Coming out as gay? Folks would fall over themselves with the accolades and declarations of courage…

  77. Makes me wonder if other players would target him for extra hits or cheap shots. Iwouldnt be right. But makes you wonder. When i was lil we used to play kill the man with the ball, but some called is smear the queer.

  78. I hope that a player does in order to come out just to get this issue out in the open so we can move on. The worst of it will be the ugliness that can come out of website message boards, Twitter and the like that the anonymity of the internet seems to lean towards. I greatly respect the player who has the guts to be the first to come out.

  79. If a gay player in the NFL makes his sexual orientation known publicly, that’s fine with me, I just hope it’s his choice to do so. If a person wishes to keep their sexual orientation private, that right should be respected as well.

  80. I’m officially coming out as a heterosexual male. There I did it. Its out in the open. Isn’t everyone relieved! I wouldn’t want any favoritism because someone might think I’m gay or be discriminated against due to my straight orientation. See how silly that was. I’m interested in a society where the need for gays thinking they have to come out would be considered just as silly.

    I’ve never made people’s sexual orientation a big deal in my life unless it gets shoved down my throat (Err…bad choice of words). Get it over with so we can all make it a non issue & get us back to the football!!!

    Unfortunately I’m sure it will be dragged out due to media exploiting it to generate revenue as long as possible.

  81. All you people saying to keep it private and keep living your life without trying to get attention, think about Rosa Parks and if she should have never sat in the front of the bus…

    Change takes courage!

  82. DON’T DO IT !!!
    Don’t do it on your own
    See if you can find another player or two who will come out at the same time
    THAT might be easier

  83. I would really applaud a guy who does this and it is necessary to get the issue out of the way but it would probably be career suicide. Not only would we have to worry about the reaction of teammates but the media storm wouldn’t be a distraction that NFL coaches typically embrace.

  84. Please keep politics (or what someone does in their bedroom) out of football. This is just another incident of the media force feeding something to the public, who cares what people do in their bedroom or in their private time.

  85. You people are all thinking of the politics of a gay player coming out and how it would affect the play of the team and that player. You forget how it would affect the front office.

    Remember this for the team that has that gay player: There is no such thing as bad publicity. If they had some tickets to sell, they would sell them out. The gay fans would come out to support him, the anti-gay bigots would come out to jeer him, and the curious would come out for the spectacle. There would be long lines at the ticket booth.

  86. Why is the media insisting on shoving this down our throats like this person would be hailed as some hero and breaking some boundaries down like Jackie Robinson.

    Jackie Robinson was born with dark skin and was kept out of baseball and hated just for being black.
    No one is keeping a gay player out and being gay is something you choose to be in your life.

    Average folks could care less if Monti Te’o or whoever comes out, we dont need it waved in our face and we wont kiss this person’s rump.

    Once this happens, the media will latch on to, who will be the first transgender player to play or amputee to play and so on.

  87. Okay…this gay player (whoever he is) is going to learn the harsh reality of the situation. A gay player will divide the lockerroom.

    Don’t believe me? Go ask the Steelers and what Kordell Stewart did to their lockerroom!

    Why does he have to come out any way? What is he trying to prove? Heterosexual players don’t feel the need to grab a microphone and tell everyone their Heterosexual. Gzzzz.

  88. What would be the purpose for him to come out? It’s a private matter and it shouldn’t be part of the NFL. You don’t see womanizer making public statements about them preferring to have multiple women in their life, why should a gay person be any different?

    To be called “the first”?

  89. @jetsjetsjetsnow You’re as hilarious as a staph infection, man. Of course you’re a Jets fan. Is anyone surprised?

    Coming out isn’t about a spectacle or an agenda. It’s about staking a claim on the same rights everyone else has. It’s about being able to live your life openly in all regards, sexual or not. It’s about loving who you love and not looking over your shoulder. I’m glad you think it’s hilarious to diminish the suffering some people go through their whole lives just to crack an “I’m coming out as a heterosexual male” joke.

  90. We are all football fans i dont think it should ever matter if someone is gay or straight. I wanna see a running back hit the hole with authority a receiver run awesome routes make great catches, see a quarterback have zip on one throw and the next throw have perfect touch that the ball seems to float. I wanna see great nfl players not great gay or straight nfl players.

  91. Wouldn’t want to be the center if it turns out to be a QB. BTW, any guesses who it might be?

  92. I don’t think it’ll be a giant conspiracy revealed if a gay man came out.

    The thing I don’t see anyone talking about is what’s next when he does?

    Will players be comfortable in various states of undress with a gay man potentially leering at them?

    Before you say “get over it”, would a woman be told to get over it if a man was in her lockerroom?

    But then I guess the flip side to this is that the US Womens soccer team has several “out” gay players and I haven’t heard of any issues there.

    Who knows.

    Not my hill to die on. Someone else can freak out about this one.

  93. He knows when the right time to come out is. When he does I am going to support him. And there is probably more gay players in the NFL. And who cares if he is a GOOD or a BAD player. it doesn’t matter people. He needs our support.

  94. Just come on out. Like stated earlier, there are so many other major issues that are facing the NFL and the US today. It would be a great example to the college and younger kids struggling with coming out right now.

    That being said, I have $100 on Sanchez.

  95. @ worlds greatest

    You misunderstand me. What I’m talking about is the medias tendency to over saturate a news story. Even before the official announcement is made the story will have broken nation wide, the story will be repeated over and over again for weeks, maybe months, and will be mentioned several times during every preseason, regular season, and post season game that he plays in. My point is, there’s always a point where a story is dead, and the media always overshoots that point by a wide margin.

  96. While there are always fans that cross a line with insults most fans of the game do not care about the sexuality of a player. It makes no difference to the game. The issues would be personal ones within the locker room.

    Announcing through the media that he is considering coming out is an attention grab either to achieve additional notoriety or to place added pressure to not be released. If it were about principles, we would be reading a story about someone that came out, not someone considering it.

  97. If this like a Ray Rice or Arian Foster type player… people would line up to support them. They would be the toasts the town. A great role model for lgbt youth in a time they could use one. Come on out!

    If this is a Braylon Edwards or Vince Young player though…

  98. Please strong consider keeping this personal matter to yourself… The NFL doesn’t need this and I don’t want it to be the topic of every sport related topic for months– which we all know it will be. Come on football season!

  99. I think it’s a bad idea. Imagine 45k opposing fans calling him the other f-word. Especially in rowdy stadiums like Bmore and Philly. Would look bad!

  100. Must be nice to have the decision to come out if you feel like you can handle the backlash. Minorities of color don’t have that luxury. They can’t fit in and have people treat them fairly. I wish him all the best with his decision.

  101. Be proud of who you are. Don’t let haters make you feel like you have to hide who you are. You don’t have to hide, and you shouldn’t hide. Its not easy to stand up to people, but you have to stand up for who you are. And you don’t need to be ashamed for doing it. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, and they all have their favor victims. Don’t be a victim.

  102. Ok. him trying to continue his career has nothing to do with his being on a team. The societal backlash may be to much for him and/or the team he’s on. I get why you think that, given any other time, it would be an easy conclusion. This is also bigger than the NFL. It could make or break, any other gay/lesbian not just gay athlete’s, decision about “coming out” in every other professional sport or just in life.

  103. I hope whoever it is that he goes through with it. I can’t imagine the struggle he goes through on a daily basis by pretending to be someone he isn’t or alienating himself from his team for fear of being rejected or further alienated. It will definitely be healthier for him if he came out.

    It’s a personal matter but so is Tebow’s religious jesus freak mumbo jumbo, but nobody seems to see any issue with that being publicized or joining him in tebowing.

  104. Whoever it is, they should be proud of themselves for coming forward and having the courage and fortitude to speak out against an issue that, well, shouldn’t even remotely be an issue. Honestly, I hope if this happens, that it serves as a catalyst for future players to follow suit and let all fans out there know that sexual orientation has no bearing on anything concerning the player on or off the field.

  105. They have free will. Let them do whatever they want. It is when you try to make others agree this behavior is ok is where I draw the line. You have the freedom to do whatever you want. You don’t have the freedom to make me agree with you!

  106. The first publicly gay player will not come out, he will be outed by a spurned lover. Probably on Twitter or Facebook. Bold prediction!

  107. It would be easier for a defensive player rather than a qb, RB, wr, te, etc. somebody missing a tackle is harder to see than dropping a pass or fumbling a ball…

  108. Okay, tell me something…

    What does this mean to you? Why is it so important to people that this happen? Do you think it makes you wise, progressive, and compassionate if you fully support – and are clearly even practically begging – an openly gay player in the NFL?

    Does this redefine you somehow? Do you think others will see you in a better light if someone’s sexual preferences are now the center of conversation? Do you have some sort of “Societal Hero of the Conscience” complex?

    I don’t think this issue is what you are desperately trying to make it. In fact, it isn’t your issue – or mine or anyone else’s – to prompt into being.

    In short, it’s none of your business. And why you continue to write pieces that drool with hope for a gay football player to announce himself to the world is beyond me.

  109. I find it interesting that some of the comments in here are pretty nasty but don’t get deleted as readily as my earlier comment stating that I’d bet that this player plays for Minnesota or Baltimore. What makes my comment worse than those who basically state this player should get the crap kicked out of him and those posts remain? Even sillier is that the “author” sits around reading HOURS worth of every single post just to decide which one HE doesn’t care for.

  110. That being said, I, personally, couldn’t care less but that doesn’t make it any easier for this guy or any others in his shoes.

  111. If he comes out, I believe that his team will have his back. It’s the media who will want to beat the story to death and those that want to politicize it to no end who will be the ones to cause any problems. Good luck to him if he does.

  112. Besides, it’s the media that’s brought this to the forefront, right? If the media didn’t sensationalize this, it would be no big deal (IMO). Who am I to judge…?

  113. Many of you say you don’t care, but look how many posts are on this story. All I care about is how he plays the game. If he’s a kicker and can kick a 60 yard field goal in the final seconds to win a big game, then he can leave the stadium holding his boyfriend’s hand after the game and it won’t bother me a bit.

  114. deathonwings410 –

    Baltimore’s Torrey Smith was mocked by Patriots fans during the AFC Championship for his Dead Brother and we’re the rowdy ones???

    The macho nature of football has probably made this an agonizing decision for this man. Still, forcing him to live a lie is cruel. My guess is that he probably doesn’t want to make a big damn deal out of the whole thing, but the reality of the situation is that if he’s going to be able to take his partner out to dinner or let the man sit in the WAG section, then yes, he’s going to have to get ahead of the story. Otherwise, it’ll be something like the National Enquirer getting hold of it, and turning into something salacious.

    We know there’s going to have to be an announcement, but if his publicist is smart, that’s where the story ends. Make the big announcement, but make sure that ESPN et al knows that his sexuality isn’t who he is as a player or a person. Then, stay on that message. For example: when a cheeky sideline reporter tries to ask about his partner after a play, the player should politely remind the reporter that they don’t ask about Candace Crawford every time Romo throws an interception and return the focus to the play itself. Eventually, the media will hopefully get that the player is simply living his life like the rest of his team, and they’ll move on to the next story.

  115. Stay in the closet. Nobody cares if you are gay. Keep your mouth shut and just play football.

  116. This person would not be the first

    Esera Tavai Tuaolo (born July 11, 1968) is a gay retired American professional football player. He was a defensive tackle in the NFL for nine years.

    Other gay players in the NFL include: Wade Davis, Ed Gallagher, Kwame Harris, David Kopay, Ray McDonald, Lindsy McLean, Roy Simmons, Brian Sims, and Jerry Smith.

  117. It’s one thing to consider, but it’s another thing to decide to it.

    It’s difficult, but let’s see what happens after this off-season because of what Brendan Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, and Scott Fujita are doing.

    Hopefully, no anonymous or on-the-record player or report says anything disrespectful to cause discomfort for players who are still in the closet.

  118. If he’s gay, he shouldn’t be ostracized in any way. His lifestyle, whether or not you agree with it, should not affect the way he is treated as a teammate and certainly won’t have any affect on the way he plays the game(unless he gets a ton of hatred going his way, which would be unfortunate). He should be respected for the way he plays football and the impact he has on the community; his decisions aren’t my business or anyone else’s.

    With that being said, the same thing applies to the media who is literally foaming at the mouth waiting for the player to come out so they can champion his cause and be seen as flag bearers for equality. I have no issue with the media covering it and defending him when necessary, but it’s annoying that the media is already prepared to make him a hero despite not even knowing who he is yet. If he shouldn’t be judged for simply being who he is, he also shouldn’t be deified for it either.

  119. I have always believed that you dont talk about what goes on in the bedroom (or where ever)…gentlemen arent supposed to talk about their experiences w/their loved ones. Likewise….ladies dont talk about what happens in private.
    I have my beliefs on the issue, most of the time I keep these beliefs to myself.
    I could personally care less what this persons sexual orientation is….sometimes I think ppl profess this preference just to get themselves attention.
    What possible usefulness (to the franchise he plays for) could making his sexual orientation public have?
    While some will be accepting of any such “coming out” some will not. Sadly, but truthfully, that is just the way it is.
    None the less, I wouldnt wish this person ill will.

  120. I can think of a few, which if it were one of them it wouldn’t surprise me. I would never think less of a person because of their sexual orientation. I think less of those players who have beaten or abused their wives/girlfriends. Those are the players whose behavior has been reprehensible. Those that get nailed for DUI aren’t far behind.

  121. Coming out doesn’t seem to have hurt Anderson Cooper’s career. It’s a different era, when an NFL player comes out, it will not be earth shattering as it might have been 30 years ago. It will be a story for a brief time and then something else bigger will take it’s place.

  122. Well he was 1 pass away from winning the Superbowl this year. So, why not come out when you’re almost on top and have the world’s attention. Kap, its time to come out and wave your rainbow flag all over SF!

  123. The “fans” this gay player is referring to are the conservative evangelicals who are taught and are teaching intolerance and bigotry to the next generation, unfortunately. The Conservative evangelicals and far right wingers are on the wrong side of history and are clinging to medieval discrimination views as the US progresses as a modern and civilized country with equality and respect for human rights.

  124. To all the people who are saying “He should keep it to himself.”

    He should be able to be who he wants to be whenever and wherever he wants. He should be able to go on beaches with his significant other like Tom Brady or speak about what he believes like Tim Tebow. He should be able to do everything that every other NFL player does just by being himself and loving who he wants.

    A person who is trying to have a positive effect on his sport, their own life, the lives of others and in his community should be applauded and not just to just keep quite.

  125. Someone needs to do it sooner or later. I think most people agree that we need to step past this non-issue of sexual preference. Ya, straight people don’t “come out”, but they do get to experience the freedom of not having to hide a relationship. Plus, I for one, would love to see a Lamar from “Revenge of the Nerds” type quarterback.

  126. So then the next question should be: Is Giselle going to act shocked at Brady’s admission or acknowledge that she his “beard” that has gone along with that sham of a marriage?

  127. I hope that person has the courage to do so, because he would be a figure of strength for others that struggle everyday to be considered equal in our society. We all are people, & there is nobody, including the pope, that can tell me different. Jesus spent his time with the sick, prostitutes & beggars. I think he would care as much & perhaps more for gay people, than the rest of us. Time will change this act of discrimination…

  128. I don’t care what he is but I know tge media pressure would bring unwanted attention. What or who someone sleeps with is there business I hope it does happen so we can get past this already.

  129. I’m not getting the inference that he’s a free agent, the meaning of the text can clearly mean that he’s currently employed by a team, and after coming out he intends to continue playing football (instead of not, like many other athletes in the past have done when coming out).

  130. Let it be said here first…If I were a gambling man, my money would be on it being Brendon Ayanbadejo.

    That said, I am very proud of him(or whomever it happens to be). Those of you that stated that he should keep it ‘Private’ are ignorant to your own lives. Straight people tell and/or flaunt their sexuality every day(knowingly or unknowingly), meanwhile many members of the Gay community feel they need to keep their personal lives and decisions to themselves simply based on public perception and ignorant people(Ironic huh).

    Ignorance feeds the media and feeds the masses unfortunately. It is however fortunate that there are some individuals out there that are mature enough to not let other peoples decisions run their lives or pretend that they somehow effect them. Too bad the majority isn’t the some that don’t.

  131. Look at me! I’m a princess! Tackle me I have the baaaalllll! Who freakn cares!

  132. Come on. The player will be the first of many. Not just NFL but NHL, MLB, and NBA.

    Yes, NFL is a “macho” sport but that only helps the players case because he will have already proved his worth to the team and teammates as the first ACTIVE major sport player to come out.

    Yes, if it were a superstar level player it’s going to be more impact full but that’s not likely to be the case. It’ll be a mid level player.

    As for idiots saying it has nothing to do with football, it does. Besides, teammates and team most surely already know the player is gay or even brings his partner to team functions that are private.

    To the dudes who use the 2% of population is gay. There are over 1,500 players in the NFL. And the percentage of gays is actually 10% or more. So there are at least 150 gay players already, at any given point of the season.

  133. I see the Minesota children must be home on spring break and mommy left them access to the computer judging by a few comments on here that only a child would make

  134. lol funny, guess I can’t post a comment about the “people’s savior” Peyton Manning or it will get deleted…..ridiculous

  135. Bunch of losers on mommys computer cuz they couldn’t afford to go anywhere on spring break..making assumptions of guys with a lot of money and hot girlfriends..stay classy tho!

  136. I don’t undestand the level of surprise by fans. The NFL is behind the “leaking” of questions asked at the combine, the “leaking” of a marginal player coming out, and will eventually be behind “A TOP-TIER” guy eventually coming out. Does it matter to most fans? No. But, in terms of marketing dollars and backlash from some, it matters to owners. Best believe, a Top-Tier guy is known in the business, and a particular franchise is fearful of losing money. Thus, throw a sacrifcial lamb to the wolves, soften the thoughts, then release the bigger names. I’ve been told of one particular name, but I’ll keep that to myself.

  137. I think it is encouraging that so many comments are saying that they don’t want to know or that it makes no difference. But this is naive: 1) There are certainly several active gay players in the NFL today including some stars; 2) The media who follow the NFL already know many of them and go out of their way to protect their privacy. 3) Their teammates, in many cases, also know who is gay –just like the rest of us and our co-workers. 4) So what has changed? The Supreme Court is debating gay marriage today, and there will be some players who wish to marry. This was not an option in the past and the main reason why I believe we will see some players coming out. They deserve the same rights as the rest of us.

  138. The only reason why I could think you would keep deleting my innocuous rebuttal of a comment to my previous post is to hinder any clarification to purposely promote the misunderstanding & thus controversy.

    You media guys feed on that sooooooooooo well!!!

  139. I guess PFT doesn’t want to hear mention of Gareth Thomas’ name here so my objective comments on his coming out was deleted. Why, because he played rugby?? His story should inspire any NFL player who’s on the fence about coming out. But inspiring people is not what you’re trying to do here is it?

  140. …and every center in the league is thinking “Dear God, please don’t let it be my quarterback…”

  141. truninerfan49 says:
    Mar 25, 2013 4:44 PM
    Wouldn’t it be funny if it was Chris Culliver


    Or if Culliver really told the truth; half the league can’t stand it, and will be on edge, because it will make the media that much more interested in which player dislikes that “out” player, further causing factions in locker rooms that hadnt existed before.

    How cool would it have been if Culliver said; “I dont really like it, half the lockerroom doesnt either, but will tolerate it because the media says we have to – and probably a large portion of the country is sick of this agenda being purposely pushed by the media.” – and no matter how much “re-education” i’m getting , many in our society will never accept this, and its not remotely related to the civil rights movement, either.

  142. If you want to be equal, act equal and quit making a spectacle of your preference.

    Im so burned out on the hype. Be glad you cant get legally married, cuz once you have to pay $10-20,000 for a divorce, youll wish you were never married in the first place.

  143. Why stop at the nfl… Basketball… soccer …. Bad mitten…. Let’s just get it out in the open. If you ask me this is a joke. Who care how they feel… really it’s so pathetic to watch them beg for acceptance. so if some player comes out dose that makes it right… I would have to say most everyone in the locker-room already know who is or isn’t… so coming out, makes you feel special please do it and get this over with.

  144. There’s a reason this guy “strongly considering coming out” will never occur; he doesn’t exist. Not unlike Harry Reid’s “friend” who claimed Romney never paid taxes for 10 years. Neither of these people even exist. It’s the media’s narrative; nothing more than a way to forward their agenda and keep topics they view as important in the news.
    In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the media believes you are a blithering idiot.

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