Former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo sang at a protest in Eden Prairie, Minnesota yesterday, where a group of pastors were holding a meeting to galvanize support for an amendment to ban gay marriage in that state.
Tuaolo came out in 2002, becoming the third American football player to do so. All did it upon or after retiring. None are currently out in the sport, though who knows, some appear to be flirting with the idea.
In football news from across the pond (not the same sport, I know, but as far as the homophobia goes, they’re on the same page, so humor me)…
The BBC asks, why are there no openly gay footballers?
Former football manager Alan Smith tells the magazine: “Football is a profession that doesn’t allow anyone to be different. I’ve had players over the years who were single and read books and so others said they must be gay. I suspect it may have bothered them but they got on with it because that’s what they wanted to do. I think being openly gay would be something very difficult to live with in football. You can get drunk and beat up your wife and that’s quite acceptable, but if someone were to say ‘I’m gay’, it’s considered awful. It’s ridiculous.”
The strange twist in all this is footballers who are willing to capitalize on their gay fanbase, even court it, like Beckham, whose new fragrance Instinct is about to hit store shelves in the UK, and whose doll may be snatched up by homofans worldwide.