CBS Sports: NFL Player Considering Coming Out of the Closet

Mike Freeman at CBS Sports wrote today that he believes a current NFL player is considering coming out of the closet:

NflWhile I've long believed I would not see an openly gay NFL player for decades, that might be wrong.

Based on interviews over the past several weeks with current and former players, I'm told that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months — and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career.

Freeman says that despite the recent homophobic Chris Culliver incident and the issues at this year's Combine, "I'm told this player feels the time is now for someone to take this step…"

This player's true concern, I'm told, is not the reaction inside an NFL locker room but outside of it. The player fears he will suffer serious harm from homophobic fans, and that is the only thing preventing him from coming out. My sources will not say who this alleged player is.

Comments

  1. Francine says

    I would love for Tebow to come out. And then say that he’s a bottom and fantasizes about being taken by the whole team in the showers after a game.

    At least that’s what I’m fapping to right now.

  2. bravo says

    I thought special teams (kicker, punter) and not WR or DB, but I will happily accept any NFL player who came out. He would have millions of instant fans. My family are die-hard football fans. If a player came out, they’d be rallying around him for having bigger balls than King Kong. Unless he were a Cowboy. Then they’d hate him. But they’d hate him not for being gay, but for being a Cowboy.

  3. bravo says

    Cam, it took me about 7 years from when I realized I was gay until I came out. I don’t care how long it takes. Let him come out when he’s good and ready.

  4. Francis says

    I really don’t think the sports world is ready for it, and if you read comments on issues regarding homosexuality in sports, there will DEFINITELY be major fan backlash. But at the same time, momentum is clearly on our side. Is it best now to come out when the spotlight is at it’s peak? It may be.

    Brendon Ayanbadejo said that homophobic slurs are common in the locker room. And that’s with him in the locker room in Baltimore. And we know NFL coaches/executives just tried to essentially witch hunt a gay player during the NFL draft combine. So I’m not really sure this is the right time. Clearly we’re getting close, though. I think if the Prop 8/DOMA cases rule in our favor, we’ll see someone come out. And the floodgates would open even more.

  5. Francis says

    I really don’t think the sports world is ready for it, and if you read comments on issues regarding homosexuality in sports, there will DEFINITELY be major fan backlash. But at the same time, momentum is clearly on our side. Is it best now to come out when the spotlight is at it’s peak? It may be.

    Brendon Ayanbadejo said that homophobic slurs are common in the locker room. And that’s with him in the locker room in Baltimore. And we know NFL coaches/executives just tried to essentially witch hunt a gay player during the NFL draft combine. So I’m not really sure this is the right time. Clearly we’re getting close, though. I think if the Prop 8/DOMA cases rule in our favor, we’ll see someone come out. And the floodgates would open even more.

  6. Dave says

    Wow. It would be a huge event. If you, the player, are reading this, you would be hero in the truest sense of the word. Yes, there would be some short term pain, but in the long term, think Jackie Robinson. A legend.

  7. says

    “If a player came out, they’d be rallying around him for having bigger balls than King Kong”–hahah awesome quote. This is very true. I fear that the fan backlash would ruin his career, but someone has to be “the first” to break down barriers.

  8. Ryan says

    Francis: The same was said about the hip-hop community but Frank Ocean seems to be doing fairly well. Much like the repeal of DADT in a hyper-masculine military, I don’t think we’ll ever see any forward momentum in professional sports until someone has the courage to come out. It’s about breaking stereotypes. It’s about showing people that you can be gay while also being capable of . Talking about it and surveying people and all the hypothetical stuff will never be the same as having it actually happen.

  9. Ryan says

    Towleroad ate part of my comment. It used to say, “It’s about showing people that you can be gay while also being capable of (insert macho activity/skill/job here).”

  10. ***** says

    One of the important things that homophobes in the stands forget is that there are gay Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen fighting and dying so they can spout off their ignorant drivel at someone earning more in a year than most of them will in a lifetime. If the Marines can get over serving with a gay man or woman, then footballers can get over playing with a gay guy. Yes, I said playing with. You know what I mean. Being on a team with a couple of gay guys.

  11. Francis says

    I agree with you, Ryan, but at the same time there is still A LOT of discrimination within the military. There is still a lot of people in the military who are closeted. And there still isn’t equality on a legal level. DADT hasn’t been solved yet and coming out alone won’t fix the culture, that takes the culture improving itself.

    I want to see a player come out, but I can see why they’re scared, and I would be scared for them. The fan reaction ain’t gonna be pretty. And Frank Ocean is an R&B artist whose music transcends any single culture. But we’ve made tons of progress and things are still improving, so we’ll see. You’re right, it’s going to take someone coming out for things to really change in the sports world.

  12. andrew says

    If he has been in the NFL for a few years and has already made a bundle of money, then mabye he should come out. His football skills will no longer be the center of attention, his sexual orientation will dominate every discussion about him. He will be hounded by media about his sexuality and asked to offer opinions on every gay issue under the sun. Chances are all the hoopla will force him to cut his career short.

  13. Henry Holland says

    “He will be hounded by media about his sexuality and asked to offer opinions on every gay issue under the sun”

    I was/am a huge fan of the musician Bob Mould, I love his work in Husker Du / Sugar / solo. When he came out, he gave some interviews that were unfortunate, he was “asked to offer opinions etc.” and some of them were really dumb. There’s also the other side of it, gay media people that had no idea who he was asking really dumb questions.

    I know sports fans, they won’t care all that much if the guy helps his team win, if he doesn’t, ruh roh.

    As for who it is and all that, I’m bored with waiting, I’ve been waiting since I read Dave Kopay’s book in 1976.

  14. emjayay says

    Well, its inevitable. Sooner or later. And the guy will “attempt to continue his career?” Attempt? Like, in the face of stoning or what? Of course the sports world is full of retards. It’s not exactly the ivory tower or silicon valley. But everyone is aware of which way the wind is blowing.

  15. Bill says

    @cam: “thinking about it” makes a lot of sense. Some Hollywood PR guy supposedly said that there is no such thing as good or bad publicity – the actors need publicity. If he’s “thinking about it” and the fact that someone is “thinking about it” is touted enough in the press, his coming out will be the sports event of the year. Think major product endorsement opportunities from Diesel and A&F, not to mention Calvin Klein (all the more so if Calvin finds himself in need of a new boy toy, I mean, boyfriend).

    Wisecracks (meant to amuse Towleroad readers) aside, if he does come out, I hope it goes well for him. It’s not always all that easy to be first.

  16. DannyEastVillage says

    am I wrong or is one of the subtexts of this story that his team-mates already know? Sure seems like it – and if so, they’re helping him keep his secret. That tells us a lot more about the culture of the locker room than stories about nit-wits like Chris Culliver.

  17. FFS says

    When was the last time an NFL player was harmed by a fan? If I were him, I’d be more worried about whether or not I was a sucky player.

    It’d be really lame if the first openly gay current NFL player were a bench-warmer. Or, worse . . . a kicker.

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