NFL PA President Domonique Foxworth: Multiple Gay Players Will Come Out, They are in League Now

FoxworthNFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth gave an interview to WNST in Baltimore on the speculation that a gay football player was ready to come out of the closet.

Said Foxworth:

“It doesn’t have to be one player. When one player comes out, multiple players will come out, because they are in our league right now….When the public finds out about it, it’s going to be a media storm and it’s going to be a lot of press and a lot of attention, and probably not all of it’s gonna be positive…But the NFLPA, as long as I’m president of it, is going to be behind that player and providing support."

(image source)


  1. JP says

    If it was me, I would want 2 or 3 others to come out at the same time. There is safety in numbers. I can’t even imagine the spotlight and pressure that would be on one person.

  2. Bollux says

    The likelihood of there being more than one is just statistics. A 53-man roster on 32 teams means just under 1700 active football players. If you go by the conservative (i.e. self-reporting) figure of 3-4% that was bandied about in February, that means between 50-70 gay or bi men in a sample of that size.

    And I also agree that some of these players have indeed (and wisely) contacted the union about the legal ramifications. Roger Goddell has already stated the league is fully supportive in its diversity policies. So this is actually happening.

  3. Joshua says


    regardless if he has talked with players, heard the rumors or just wants to put out there that he, the Players Association President, and the NFLPA supports them is good enough for me. i don’t need to question his motives.

    there are ~1700 players in the NFL and are statistically bound to be a dozen or more who identify as gay.

    i think it’s great that we’re supported.

  4. WhatWhat says

    I’m all for a gay NFL player coming out, I think it would be amazing to have a gay role model out there for kids who idolize athletes and also for general US audiences to see that we come in all different walks of life.

    But am I the only one that finds their approach kind of… creepy? With the recent questioning of combine drafts and the obvious questioning going on with existing players… seems like their purposely trying to push someone out of the closet for publicity. And I don’t understand the general obsession with getting an NFL player to come out by everyone in general. There seems to be an article posted about it everyday on this site. If someone wants to come out, let them come out on their own terms.

  5. jjose712 says

    JP: Yes, that would be a good idea, if there are two or three players, it won’t be such a great deal, or at least not all the attention will be put in only one player, so it will be less pressure.

    Well, that will work unless one of the players is a lot more famous than the others, of course

  6. Rich says

    I see this as an exercise in “strategery” — arrange for a joint coming-out party with 3-6 players so that it’s not all on the shoulder pads of one of them.

  7. Rees Cramer says

    I hope you are there when they do find that courage. A strong straight man can make coming out so much better, because he says I am your friend and it does not matter. It is such a moment of vulnerability and fear. You are man but you are admitting something that causes most men great fear. When Spence said that to me twenty years ago my life got better instantly. I knew that I was not alone on whatever happened next.

  8. Patrick says

    NFL players is not really a random sample. Tall people, people with great hand-eye coordination, fast people, black people, strong people, pain-tolerant people, people with concussions, etc., are all over-represented in the NFL. There’s no reason to think the proportion of gays in the NFL matches the general population.

  9. Francis says

    Very very important to have the support of the NFLPA. That will help these closeted players know that if anything negative goes down, that they’re protected. Unfortunately the NFLPA can’t really affect the culture and that takes the head honchos of the NFL itself, and they haven’t done enough to create change.

    With that said, good for Domonique. He’s become a wonderful ally for us.

  10. Howard says

    @Patrick. I don’t understand how you reach that conclusion.

    I would argue that it’s possible that there is a higher than average # of gays in the NFL because that kind of hyper-masculine environment would attract in higher than average numbers the very butch, hyper-masculine gays that we all know exsist, but they are very rarely open about being gay.

    In fact because these hyper-masculine gays are so closeted, it will be impossible to ever get an accurate count of their numbers to prove either one of us right. But that’s my view.

  11. gruntled says

    The headline is misleading.

    Foxworth said the players were in the league, meaning in the NFL.

    The headline says they’re “in league,” meaning they’re acting in concert, together, coordinated.

    Easy fix: add “the” before “league” in the headline.

  12. Rick says

    A couple of comments.

    First of all, given the unfortunate reality that the culture of effeminacy remains the prevailing culture among gay men, Joshua, I seriously doubt that the proportion of NFL players that are gay is the same as the proportion of gays in the population. I think that WOULD be the case if gay men rejected the idea that homosexuality and masculinity are incompatible…..but most of them have internalized the larger societal notion that they are incompatible, so they adhere to the culture of effeminacy and tend to eschew sports, especially violent sports like football.

    Second, a great deal will depend on exactly who the first player or players are that come out, when it comes to the kind of reaction they get from other players, from fans, and from the media.

    An established superstar would probably be better able to survive the scrutiny and publicity that would come with coming out, because he is already used to it and because his talent and performance cannot be challenged. Also, it would matter more to the public–nobody is going to care if a relatively obscure special teams player comes out, because they just don’t know who he is……(which is why Wade Davis only got a few days worth of publicity when he came out after retiring–if it had been Steve Young or Troy Aikman, instead, the “story” would have made national headlines and would have had “legs” that lasted months and even years.

    Thirdly, I honestly think a black player would have LESS of a hard time than a white player would because white fans (the majority of fans) would be reluctant to criticize or attack him, strictly because of the RACIAL sensitivities involved, regardless of how homophobic they might be. He would be less subject to taunting at games or slurs from the media. And statistically speaking, the majority of NFL players (70%) are black, so it is more likely that the guy coming out would be black than it is he would be white.

    Also, I would prefer that the guy coming out NOT be a punter or a placekicker…..because of all the jokes that would follow, these being the only two positions that generally don’t involve violent contact, so homophobes could make use of that to still portray gays as sissies….plus, punters and placekickers just don’t have the panache that a quarterback or a defensive lineman or wide receiver might have.

    As for several players coming out together, that would be a way to avoid some backlash and reduce the pressure on each individual player, but it would also tend to dilute the impact of an individual superstar coming out.

    Bottom line is the ideal candidate would be a well-established Hall of Fame type player near the end of his career (but not yet “over the hill”), preferably black, and preferably in a highly visible position on the field.

  13. Rick says

    Of course, I’m neither masculine myself nor am I openly gay because I’m still a complete wimp who lives in abject fear every day of what people will think about me once they find out that I spent each night perched on a massive butt plug.

    But the point is mainly this – those of us who hate effeminate gay men are simply not man enough to come out and change anything. And we blame a non-existent “Culture of Effeminacy” for our own pathetic inability to live the same way those effeminate gays live – which is not caring one iota what anti-gay people think.

    I wish I was more like those effeminate guys. Their ability to walk around each day not caring who can tell if they’re gay, or how people will respond to it, is a courage and strength I will never ever have.

  14. Randy says

    I’m sure that on the whole, the reaction will be overwhelmingly positive, including among fans, provided that they keep playing the game at a high level of ability.

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