1. Alex says

    I think that the NFL and the fans need to first shift their attitudes to make it a safe environment for players to start coming out. While I would love for a player/s to come out, I don’t want anybody being seriously injured for doing so. Football is a violent sport where coaches already give incentives to players to hurt specific players on apposing teams(New Orleans Saints).

  2. ratbastard says

    I respect Sean. I don’t know really in matters like this what the NFL can do, aside from a contract clause forbidding saying/doing anything that might embarrass the league/team, which would result in a fine with progressively more severe penalties for repeat offenders. All these things must be negotiated with player’s union.

    As for strictly the speech aspect, aside from an employer having the legal right to place reasonable controls and expectations on an employee regarding anything they do publicly that could reflect negatively on the employer, we have freedom of speech in America. People are free to say ‘mean’ things, to say ‘homophobic’, ‘racist’, anti-Christian, anti-whatever things, as well as in writing, in at least broad terms. Now if they also specifically threaten violence against a specific person, or make false accusations against a private citizen [private citizens can easily sue for slander, although this is more difficult for a public personality to do,in America], these are more complicated issues.

  3. Travis says

    I really don’t think that professional sports add any value to our society. I mean aside from the “excellent role models”, and binary thinking of “us against them”, relational aggression, and rampant consumerism.

  4. ratbastard says


    They’re very effective mental and physical conditioning for warfare. And for working in the corporate world.

    In fairness, they’re good for pent-up aggression, especially in males, also.

  5. Metropolis says

    Culliver’s comments struck a nerve with the gay community because it was pretty heavy and beyond the standard gay slur. It essentially made any future closeted athletes feel shunned and threatened if they were to come out. His comment “don’t come out for atleast another 10 years after you leave the league” (in so many words) were startling. No one should get a free pass for that. And the solution is a more tangible approach in highlighting him being wrong. Beyond a generic apology letter he had little to do with.

  6. says

    It is a wonder when bigots or hate mongers (and their defenders) want to consistently hide behind the freedom of speech banner. Freedom of speech never has and never will protect you from freedom of consequence. For every action there is a mandated reaction. Every action. So just as you have a right to say what you will, an entire legion of fans can express their disdain in return, and so too can your employers.

  7. Mexi-Cali Dude says

    It’s 2013. We shouldn’t have to worry about hearing a star athlete before the biggest sports game in our nation say he wouldn’t want to be working with a gay person. Or around them, much less. That’s not excusable. And shouldn’t be excusable.

    When we adopt a complacent approach to how we are respected, we adopt a complacent approach to how we attain rights. Because the two go hand in hand. Other demographics have got that down to an art, it’s time LGBT learn to respect themselves and request others do as well.

  8. Siox says

    Great points Sean. More needs to be done. I feel we’ve become desensitized to homophobia by virtue of the fact that it’s so prevalant all around us, that we’re need as quick to say “this is not right” and enforce that. Homophobia exists, and having this dialogue and challenging those who exercise homophobia is the only r-e-a-l method in not enabling it.

  9. says

    I agree 100%

    More over, I often feel athletes have more public pull with certain demographics (young, males, avid sports fans) than any campaign or politician ever could. So when they do speak ignorantly, or in the case of Culliver…plain discriminatory; it actually does far more damage, and immediate damage than we realize. For those who look up to them and idolize them, they do take their ignorance for gospel and adopt it. They then take it out on a gay target, and that’s a fact we can’t simply ignore, and I do think the NFL has a responsibility to address.

  10. Food4Thought says

    I think the much broader problem here is:

    Had there been such a massive issue with constant racist outbursts by NFL employees -and they are employees- the NFL would absolutely create some kind of umbrella to change it. Or at least, deal with it.

    The rampant homophobia we experience is almst expected, and certainly accepted. Why that is is the real underlining issue we as a society have not delved into and until we do, sadly this instances will continue.

  11. JoJo Landry says

    Agreed. Glad he’s not an apologist type gay. Apologist gays who cozzy up with every straight dude because he’s straight are a huge stain on our side, and have done everything to stiffle progress being made. it’s not enough they are too cowardly to tackle homophobia, they want us all to be as apologetic to homophobia as they are. No thanks, some of us have convictions and don’t apologize for standing up for them and against homophobia.

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