As Michael Sam was trying to become the first openly gay player in the NFL, it was an open secret that he was not close to being the first gay player in the NFL.
While common sense might tell you that’s the case, former Washington and Minnesota cornerback Fred Smoot told us also yesterday.
Smoot did a Reddit AMA (“Ask me anything”) yesterday, which is the verbal equivalent of taking Rob Ryan to a beer-and-appetizer buffet. You never know what you’re going to get, but you know you’re going to get a lot of it.
Via Des Bieler of the Washington Post, Smoot said that he encountered “several” gay players, adding that “everyone knew” and “no one cares.”
Of course, most gay players (and most people in the world) are more discreet about their own off-field exploits than the former first mate on the Vikings’ infamous “Love Boat” cruise.
Since that came up, Smoot mentioned that if it happened now under Roger Goodell’s watchful eye, he’d have been “banished from the league”
“Gotta be famous for something i guess,” he said.
But while Smoot’s a bit of a clown, the fact he’s so matter-of-fact about gay players in the NFL should tell us something — very few teammates would care, so long as that teammate could play.