Football | News | Sports | Video

Video: Barry Sanders: If Gay Player Comes Out, He'll Get Teased In The Locker Room

With so much talk this week about professional athletes and openly gay players, the camera-toting folks at TMZ decided to get Barry Sanders' take on the issue. The former NFL player's response: "If somebody comes out, they're gonna get teased but they gotta have thick skin and go on about their life."

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. If I could do what I love and am good at, get paid millions of dollars, and be open and at peace with who I am, I think I could handle some teasing.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Feb 2, 2013 9:46:42 PM

  2. I can only shake my head at such a ridiculous statement. Over on HuffPro I just had a guy tell my being gay was a 'lifestyle' and that I could easily change that by sleeping with a good women. Again, I can only shake my head at such stupidity.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Feb 2, 2013 10:23:21 PM

  3. Sadly, he's probably right, hence why there has not been ONE openly gay player in the NFL yet.

    Posted by: Sad but True | Feb 2, 2013 10:48:47 PM

  4. I have to agree with DASTIUS. If you flip out over some teasing, you're just showing that you've bought into the idea that there's something wrong with you.

    I guess it has more to do with personality types than anything else. If you dig a lot of drama and hysterics, a little good-natured teasing is just another excuse to have a hissy-fit.

    Posted by: Jack | Feb 2, 2013 11:04:16 PM

  5. Forget the NFL. What are they supposed to be, the exemplars of how to conduct our daily lives? They're goons chasing a ball around, over hyped, over funded and over regarded. Why maximise their scant merits.

    And this can be said for so many of the public names and faces we pay attention to. There are exceptional people, yes, worthy of leadership but they ain't in the NFL, rare enough among the artists, writers, film-makers, actors and politicians we see mostly too much of. A balanced discernment of real merit enables one to swim away through the net, often in the opposite directionis.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Feb 2, 2013 11:23:36 PM

  6. @OS2Guy: don't be too hard on him - what he actually said was that you could be teased in a locker room for just about anything. Initially he
    wasn't even sure what the "problem" was that they wanted him to talk about. He was also doing photo-ops in the middle of the video with his wife/friend/girlfriend (not sure which) so he was possibly distracted. In addition, he's a former NFL player, so his experience is some number of years old and public opinion is changing rapidly right now - we seem to have reached the point where homophobes are high-value targets for late-night TV.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 3, 2013 12:06:17 AM

  7. What UFFDA said. My garbage man is a WAY more fascinating person than most sports figures and celebrities. The vacuum cleaner repair guy 8 blocks away is far more inspiring. My illegal immigrant next door neighbor was WAY more amazing than anyone on TV...

    Posted by: AnonaGay | Feb 3, 2013 12:26:25 AM

  8. This is why people should not look to sports stars as role models.

    Posted by: Sam | Feb 3, 2013 1:26:16 AM

  9. I guess what we need is for LGBT Youth to make an It Gets Better video campaign for adults in professional sports.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 3, 2013 2:19:22 AM

  10. You get teased in the locker room for EVERYTHING. To not be teased would be abnormal.

    Of course, there is the "you're one of us so we tease you but no one outside our group better say this" teasing, and the other kind.

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 3, 2013 2:26:23 AM

  11. Title of this post is purposely inflammatory and anyone getting riled up by it obviously didn't watch the clip. Barry Sanders didn't say anything wrong or untrue.

    Posted by: KM | Feb 3, 2013 3:15:23 AM

  12. We all know the teasing of gay people is different because it doesn't come with support so gay people see it rightly as hostile. Which is why gay people don't come out. There is uncertainty gay people face in the NFL because the team can turn on you leading to management trading you. I've noticed for gay players who came out AFTER they played in the NFL that they were traded frequently. I seen this pattern in other sports too.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Feb 3, 2013 3:50:20 AM

  13. "Hence why" is redundant. Get educated.

    Posted by: End Redundant Use of "Hence Why" | Feb 3, 2013 5:09:53 AM

  14. Teasing is not bullying.

    My straight friends tease me all the time about gay stuff and I tease them about hetero stuff. It's what guys who have camaraderie do in an all-male situation, all kinds of "talking smack" happens.

    And guess what?

    It's fun, nobody gets hurt because nobody gets very aggressive about it. You have to have skin just a tiny little bit thicker than tissue paper.

    Seriously, didn't any of you have brothers during your childhood?

    Posted by: johnny | Feb 3, 2013 7:02:08 AM

  15. I think a player would actually have more problems with the press and the fans in the long run. Some teasing aside, he may be fine with the team, but the first out gay player would be under immense scrutiny and receive lots of attention from the public. I can understand why someone doesn't want that drama and just focus on the game.

    But then you'd think there may be a case where someone is out to the team and not to the public. That hasn't happened either I think.

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 3, 2013 8:25:52 AM

  16. Is anyone else tired of the Big Gay Superbowl already?

    Posted by: melvin | Feb 3, 2013 8:26:43 AM

  17. i thought these guys were supposed to be the epitome of "manliness".

    the biggest man i see, my hero, is ayanbadejo

    Posted by: t | Feb 3, 2013 8:43:21 AM

  18. At first glance, I thought he said "tased"... Teasing implies something good-natured, though, and I'm not sure I'd count on the good nature of some of the heavies who have been sounding off this week.

    Posted by: tomchicago01 | Feb 3, 2013 9:00:17 AM

  19. We only watch for the butts and crotch shots anyway....stupidbowl, I mean.....

    Posted by: billmiller | Feb 3, 2013 9:27:30 AM

  20. KIWI - that was very funny.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Feb 3, 2013 9:37:16 AM

  21. So if someone teases him about being a n***ger then he, too should have a thick skin and get on with his life. Somehow doubt that would happen, as fists would likely fly, or maybe a gun gets pulled.

    Posted by: Tothepoint | Feb 3, 2013 10:38:13 AM

  22. @tothepoint:

    Wow, sort of extreme, don't ya think?

    Teasing is not calling names like N*ggr or F*g, that's bullying and derogatory.

    Teasing is joking around about dates, sex, physique, work, etc... standard guy stuff that doesn't normally get ugly, especially among teammates and friends.

    Posted by: johnny | Feb 3, 2013 10:52:46 AM

  23. Take it from someone who knows......teasing is bullying and demeaning and I am sick and tired of people diminishing the impact that "teasing" can have on ones pshyce. It is damn real for a lot of us. And friends DO NOT make fun of someone's sexuality, especially in the company of a mass number of teammates with unending machismo who are likely to chime in and complete the mental beatdown.

    Posted by: Tothepoint | Feb 3, 2013 11:00:26 AM

  24. I'm sure he was teased for being black in the locker room. And probably teased for being ugly. Or broke. Or having a fat mama. Or dating a homely girl.

    You'll be teased whether its true or not- and probably more when its not. Hell- straight guys constantly crack gay jokes about other straight guys.

    Any locker room is basically a huge testoreone fest in the best & worst ways. And for what its worth most football players are infinitely better people than alot of the lacross & tennis types I have come accross who are more likely to factor class, race & sexuality into the conversation with almost none of the comraderie.

    The biggest comment I took from the whole piece was 'how do you know they're aren't gays in the locker room?' He's pretty much saying there obviously are. I'm sure when someone finally comes out we'll find out atleast a core group has known their truth all along.

    Posted by: robroy | Feb 3, 2013 12:30:26 PM

  25. From the tone of these comments, I'm willing to bet that no one even watched the clip..

    Posted by: Robert Ellison | Feb 3, 2013 1:02:12 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «News: Tyler Clementi, Twitter, Stacey Campfield, Ghana« «