Gay NFL Player 'Ready To Come Out' In Near Future
An unnamed gay player in the NFL might be “ready to come out” in the next few months, according to CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman.
There has never been an out player on any men’s major sporting team. The likes of Esera Tuaolo (NFL), Glenn Burke (MLB) and John Amaechi (NBA) have come out, but only after they had retired from being professional athletes. Gay women, like Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, have begun to come out during their career – but for men, it’s history that’s yet to be made.
Freeman’s insider report suggests that a current and well-known NFL player is deep in contemplation about coming out in the coming months. His hesitation, unlike what many might think, has nothing to do with fears about trouble in the locker room. He’s far more fearful about his reception outside of the locker room – most notably, how the fans will receive the first openly gay player.
"I honestly think the players of the NFL have been ready for an openly gay player for quite some time now," free-agent linebacker and gay-marriage advocate Scott Fujita (pictured above) told Freeman. “Trust me, the coming out of a player would create much bigger waves outside the locker room than inside,” he added, seeming to agree with the unnamed player.
The player’s would-be announcement will place it after homophobic remarks by San Francisco 49er Chris Culliver (and the controversy at the Indianapolis combine) and the Supreme Court marriage equality hearings. He’d be coming out publicly with his sexuality around the time that the Supreme Court will read their verdict on Prop 8 and DOMA, and right about when he’ll be heading to preseason for the 2013 NFL season.
It might be the perfect time. Support for marriage equality has grown in the NFL in recent years. In a brief that was sent to the Supreme Court, Fujita was joined by current players, including Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo, Giants co-owner Steve Tisch and executive director of the NFLPA Demaurice Smith, among many others, outlining their support for the civil rights cause.