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New York Giants Player Fears Being Asked Questions About A Gay Teammate: VIDEO

Terrell Thomas

Cornerback for the New York Giants Terrell Thomas thinks that the world is ready for gay athletes, but the NFL isn't. In addition to the usual "but there are naked guys in the showers" canard, expresses a new concern: being asked questions. In an interview with ESPN.com Thomas expressed his discomfort, saying in part,

You just look at what happened this year with the Miami Dolphins' situation. That became something we were being asked about every day in our locker room, and it wasn't even our team. And they're the kinds of questions where you have to think carefully about how you phrase things.

Which is evidently in contrast to interviews where you don't have to think carefully about how you answer. You can watch ESPN discuss the Thomas interview AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. It's not "unchartered territory" it's "uncharted territory"

    Posted by: anon | Feb 15, 2014 9:43:30 AM


  2. Before we ridicule him too much, I think he has a point, a more general point about how one player talks about another player, regardless of the subject of the question. I'd be uncomfortable if a reporter asked me about a co-worker and my relationship with that person. "How do you get along with the first minority person to ever work in your office? Have you noticed if they are (enter stereotypical behavior) around you? How does that make you feel?"

    Posted by: james | Feb 15, 2014 9:43:49 AM


  3. @James.... those sample questions are all very easy to address if you're not a bigot.

    How do you get along with the first.... I get along with him GREAT. Not a problem at all.

    Have you ever noticed if they are .... No, I've never noticed anything out of the ordinary.

    How does that make you feel? AS I said, I've never noticed anything. So, there's nothing to feel.

    Now, why don't you ask me some pertinent questions about the game? Isn't that what your job actually is? Do you have any gay co-workers? How does that make you feel?

    Posted by: anon | Feb 15, 2014 9:50:54 AM


  4. They're all coached on how to respond in simple repetitive phrases after:
    A Win
    A Loss
    A Rape Charge
    I don't know how it would be too difficult to script a publically vague response to satisfy all inner circle points of view.
    They have this. They obviously need to start soon.

    Posted by: dixichuk | Feb 15, 2014 10:15:24 AM


  5. How hard is it to take a cue from every other person who's had class and had a microphone jammed in their face?

    "I don't worry about things like that. I'm just here to play football."

    Just because someone asks a question, it doesn't mean you have to answer it, especially if it's something you have to "think about" in order not to stick your foot in it.

    Posted by: Lymis | Feb 15, 2014 10:17:46 AM


  6. I'm always amazed at how many people seem to lack any historic perspective on current events issues. Have these people never heard of Jackie Robinson? Did they not see the biopic, "42" about Jackie Robinson? I think all Americans should be familiar with that story but especially an African-American professional athlete!

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 15, 2014 10:23:44 AM


  7. The reason most of them are being asked questions is they have become multi-millionaires only because they can run fast..... Do you think it's time for us to just stop asking them any questions at all?

    Posted by: AdamTh | Feb 15, 2014 10:34:58 AM


  8. He's exactly right. We've made it so that we as a culture are constantly playing the game of "gotcha!" when people speak. It's political correctness run amok. And if an NFL player says something even the slightest bit unacceptable, he risks being fined or suspended or run out on the rails. I hate it. And even though I'm gay, I'm exhausted by the "gay police" who have no tolerance for those who say or believe anything contrary to what THEY believe is the only acceptable position or statements. It's sickening.

    Posted by: Jon | Feb 15, 2014 10:36:53 AM


  9. The funny thing is that the hand-wringing over the first gay player will be a bigger deal than the actual event. There will be an initial rush of media coverage, and then the story will fade into the background.

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Feb 15, 2014 10:40:09 AM


  10. Instead of condemning Terral for his backward, offensive comments, the ESPN commentators seem to excuse him for his homophobic bigotry. I guess these media "elites" feel they have to tip-toe around Terrals reeking pile of bigoted excrement because Terral is black. If something is wrong and you know it's wrong, screw the politically correct BS and do the right thing.

    Posted by: Greg | Feb 15, 2014 11:11:49 AM


  11. Fighting homophobia with anti-black sentiments is not how we should deal with people. That approach is not cool and no better than the ignorance out there.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Feb 15, 2014 11:34:21 AM


  12. Straight football player thinking to self: "If I say something nice people will think I'm gay too. If I say something mean they'll think I'm a bigot. Oh, my, oh, my what to do? what to say? Did I say that out loud? No? Good. Oh, god, here comes the reporter. Where can I hide? No, no not me, don't ask me......"

    Turns to run, bumps into "the gay guy" and shrieks.

    Posted by: james st. james | Feb 15, 2014 11:35:00 AM


  13. i used to go to a gym with 2 of my straight friends. They knew I was homo, and no biggie. We dressed undressed worked out showered and steamed together. They were both physically attractive but there was no lust, they were my friends and I looked at them as such and they me. No biggie. It was fun!

    Posted by: kodiak | Feb 15, 2014 11:52:08 AM


  14. I've never understood why players allow reporters in the locker room. Is there some insight to seeing these guys disrobing? Do they follow them to the commode? Seems rather unprofessional.

    Posted by: enchantra | Feb 15, 2014 12:08:38 PM


  15. it is really amazing that these big brute guys who play in a brutally violent sport are so afraid of the QUESION about gays?!?!?! What is wrong with this picture??????!!!

    Posted by: Bernie | Feb 15, 2014 12:09:21 PM


  16. I can see his point about the questions from reporters. I'm sure it will be annoying as hell to be constantly asked questions about the gay player. And god forbid you word something incorrectly even if you are otherwise supportive.

    Posted by: KM | Feb 15, 2014 12:18:18 PM


  17. In 1945, the year before there was a black player in the NFL, what would an intelligent player have said if asked whether potential black players would make him uncomfortable in the locker room by having black genitals? He would have said an unequivocal "no" and perhaps addressed the absurdity inherent in the question.

    It's notable how open-minded and intelligent people never have any problem answering questions like "Daddy, why is Sophia's family different from ours?" or "Terrell, how will you deal with a gay teammate?" while the dimmer bulbs among us seem to think answers to such questions are so hard.

    Posted by: GregV | Feb 15, 2014 12:19:26 PM


  18. Exactly. Most of those guys are athletes and that's it. President Obama and Michelle supersedes any of the garbage comments about gays in the NFL. The other folks can have their opinions because Michael Sam is above them and has made history. As a black 33-year-old gay man, I think we can't let people comments upset us. As long as the laws respect our rights, that's all that matters. The hell with their opinions.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Feb 15, 2014 12:28:33 PM


  19. Hmmm, projection much. How many gyms has this fool been to and showered in them with gay guys who didn't hit on his loser ass?

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Feb 15, 2014 12:42:19 PM


  20. Putting Thomas's immature 'naked men' comments aside, the larger scope of what his answers reveal is that gay slurs have been used with abandon in the NFL with a total lack of accountability. From team coaches, managers, front offices and owners. And that this is exactly what team owners with integrity and the NFL leadership needs to address.

    It boggles the mind to think that anyone would offer up the lame excuse that demeaning a marginalized group should be excused because it's part of 'team building' and that not being able to use gay slurs will somehow make your team cohesion suffer. The fact that these 'real men' feel they need to use gay slurs and not be held accountable because suddenly there's a player in the locker room that their words impact personally. If the locker room culture was racist, or misogynist, or persecutory to any other minority group would the NFL accept 'locker room culture' as an excuse?

    Are these men rational adults or a schoolyard gang?

    Think back to what happened with Kluwe. When Priefer used anti-gay language repeatedly and Kluwe reported it who got fired and who got looked at for promotion? What is the NFL doing to correct the ADMITTED demeaning of it's gay players and their supporters? Beyond it being the ethical thing to do there are also legal responsibilities for making sure that NO player suffers that kind of treatment.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Feb 15, 2014 1:31:36 PM


  21. Wow, these guys seem to be big 'fraidy cats !

    They're scared in the showers in case they are looked at; they're scared of journalists asking questions about possible gay team members.

    @ SERIOUSLY has hit it - these guys and the NFL are afraid of one thing; that their bigoted bullying disparaging denigrating gutter language will be exposed for what it is, homophobic filth.

    They will be found out and exposed.
    Then I hope they will be sued for discrimination and assault and bullying amounting to assault.
    Sue them, take their millions, stop their filth.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 15, 2014 2:02:48 PM


  22. "they're the kinds of questions where you have to think carefully about how you phrase things"

    This is the most introspective, honest, and constructive insight I've heard from any of the unwelcoming players or staff on this issue. It's not accepting, but it points to concrete steps the NFL can take to dispel some of their own fears: train their people on how to answer these questions.

    If you want to stay in your comfort zone, then talk about his game performance as much as possible, regardless of the question. Try to boil every question down to:

    What's your opinion of his game?
    What's do your teammates say about his game?

    If that doesn't fit, then have these answers ready:

    "No different than any other player."
    "No more or less than any other player."
    "Nothing out of the ordinary."

    If those don't fit, then have these ready:

    "It hasn't' come up."
    "That's a good question. Ask me another time when I've had a chance to think about it."

    Finally, if the canned answers aren't true, give your honest answer--it probably isn't homophobic if the above answers don't fit.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 15, 2014 3:21:00 PM


  23. I think he has a point, these are athletes being hounded daily in the locker room by a reactionary and destructive media in perpetual search of conflict it actually more often than not induces...

    Very rarely are positive or neutral comments published. It's all about hysteria and conflict with the media. He has a valid criticism. We hear very little from the media when these players say "I don't think it's a big deal".

    That, and the media is focusing too much on the players, and giving the coaches and NFL management way too much of a pass. It's obvious that the biggest problem with the NFL isn't the players at this point - most of them just want to do their job. It's the management that is still a decade or two behind that is the problem.

    The media needs to stop harassing the players, and do some real investigative reporting for a change. Remember when journalism used to be about doing that ?

    Posted by: Too Seriously | Feb 15, 2014 4:54:47 PM


  24. I think we let ourselves get conned into making too many potential friends into whipping boys by reporters that are just looking to make the next big controversy.

    Journalists don't care who they hurt, all the care about is the next big story, and it's usually a fabrication by omission or by their outright intentionally misrepresenting.

    People that usually post here seem usually too stupid to see that.

    Posted by: Buckie | Feb 15, 2014 4:58:30 PM


  25. I think he does have a point about framing words very carefully. The media will pounce quickly to produce a Nancy Grace sensational headline if a player even comes close to saying something negative about a gay player.
    When you had straight players this past season being critical of their teammmates and telling them to "man up," it was overlooked as passion for the game. Let that same player tell Michael Sam he needs to "man up" and see how quickly ESPN or SI asks what was meant by that comment and if homophobia was behind it.

    Look at all of the controversy surrounding the firing of Chris Kluwe. The media tried hard to make the Vikings look like they released him because of his support for marriage equality, but the media really didn't talk about his age, salary or statistics. The gay issue dominated the headlines. The media also didn't follow up when the Oakland Raiders came to the same conclusion about his NFL ability as the Vikings didand cut him from the Raiders.

    So yes, even LGBT supportive players will be forced to give 100% positive statements or provide canned answers to avoid being scrutinized.

    Posted by: Erik | Feb 15, 2014 5:12:47 PM


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