1. Dastius Krazitauc says

    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.

  2. says

    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.

  3. Jack says

    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.

  4. UFFDA says

    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.

  5. Bill says

    @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.

  6. AnonaGay says

    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…

  7. Eric says

    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.

  8. says

    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.

  9. Billy Crytical says

    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.

  10. johnny says

    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?

  11. Steve says

    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.

  12. tomchicago01 says

    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.

  13. Tothepoint says

    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.

  14. johnny says


    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.

  15. Tothepoint says

    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.

  16. robroy says

    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.

  17. NE Rich says

    When will my fellow Americans get our collective asses in gear and start honoring the opinions of people who matter. Great thinkers, scientists that win Nobel prizes, writers who contribute to the culture with ideas that will outlast us all, organizers who may help the homeless. ANTHING but the dull witted opinions of grown men whose job is to be overpaid to chase some ball down the field and tackle each other.
    When CONSTANTLY asked by folks I encounter on a daily basis that have this need to ask what “team” I’m rooting for it gives me great joy to respond that I have no interest in the sport and I have no idea who they are talking about, now let’s get to work.

  18. Chitown Kev says

    Barry Sanders is right…

    I mean, think of what other teams would do to an opposing player who’s gay…at least initially…you had better beive that some nitwit would put some sort of hit out on that player.

  19. says

    I don’t know why some commenters are swooning on their fainting couches over this. Teasing is not the same thing as bullying. Guys in locker rooms tease each other all the time – it’s a sign that you’re comfortable enough with each other and can laugh at yourself.

    Sanders’ statement was not an endorsement of bullying or gay bashing, just an honest appraisal of what guys (straight and gay) go through in the locker room.

  20. MikeInQueens says

    @OS@GUY It sure does get tiresome doesn’t it? People thinking that all I/you need is a “good woman”. Perish the thought! I still get rabid whenever some idiot evangelical says my humanity is just a “lifestyle” and the I can “change” if I want to. The argument is then, well, can YOU change to gay if you wanted to? Assholes. All of them. I lost my magic wand. Otherwise I would have banished them to the fiery circle a long time ago.

  21. woodroad34d says

    While I don’t find football players GENERALLY to be any kind of human exemplar (with the exceptions of people like Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo the obvious exceptions), they are still looked up to by a vast majority of reptillian brained people–just look at the hype and money football teams bring in. So, to have those organizations on our side to show the neanderthals of the general public that you can be both brutish and considerate, is a good thing. And it’s also true, you wanna play–you’re going to get ribbed by your hair, your body, your sexuality, etc. I’m sure the straight guys get ribbed for not being worthy of their girl friends.

  22. Belthazar says

    @Fury: Agree — “Guys in locker rooms tease each other all the time – it’s a sign that you’re comfortable enough with each other and can laugh at yourself.” Having played sports in junior/high school, you were literally teased about anything and everything, e.g., penis size, ears, to skin color (too dark – called midnight, too white – called ghost/Casper).

    As with most team sports (players), it was rarely done outside the locker room and people were very protective of each other. As Wade Davis and Marc Hill have said, there are out NBA players (open secret) that they and the team-players know are gay but have not said anything public – respecting their privacy.

  23. Francis says

    First of all, Barry didn’t even answer if a gay player would be supported in the locker room or should come out. He played it really diplomatically, but didn’t say yes.

    Secondly, he’s been retired a long time now, so his views on the subject compared to the views of current players are two different worlds.

    Now, Barry is right. I have nothing against what Barry said. Honesty is important right now, we have to accept the good and the bad regarding this subject. Honestly, this entire conversation is missing the point. The question should be………why should gay players be forced to remain in the closet due to homophobes? Why should gay players not come out? Instead of being forced to validate our existences, things should be the other way around.

    There is a difference between RIBBING/JOKING WITH and TEASING/MOCKING/BULLYING. Players get ribbed, for sure, ribbed for their love lives, their hair, their bodies, their tattoos. I’m sure there is some ribbing regarding race.

    But ribbing is not teasing. Ribbing is done with good nature. Do you honestly expect ribbing of a gay player to be done with good intentions? I truly doubt it. A gay player is potentially going to be made fun of in the locker room and definitely by fans, and what’s going to happen is that there likely will be players who don’t even associate with that gay player like he’s one of the boys, due to the fact they won’t know what to say, and don’t want to say the wrong thing. It’s going to probably take someone who is really in the inner-circle of the team dynamic to come out for things to really go well. Someone who is already one of the boys and respected.

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