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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.

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  1. 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

  2. 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.

    Posted by: NE Rich | Feb 3, 2013 1:25:03 PM

  3. Barry Sanders is right...

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

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Feb 3, 2013 1:25:32 PM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Feb 3, 2013 2:07:05 PM

  5. @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.

    Posted by: MikeInQueens | Feb 3, 2013 2:38:40 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Feb 3, 2013 2:55:47 PM

  7. @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.

    Posted by: Belthazar | Feb 3, 2013 3:38:20 PM

  8. Dear Heavily-muscled, tall, gym-worked, ultra-buffed grown adults in professional sports,

    if a sparkly skinny twink can do it, so can you.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 3, 2013 3:43:09 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 3, 2013 3:51:31 PM

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