Is The NFL Ready For Gay Players To Start Coming Out?
A little more than a week ago, CBS Sports writer Mike Freeman revealed that he had been told, through a source, that there is an NFL player out there who is thinking about coming out and revealing that he is gay. That player, who Freeman was unable to identify, isn’t sure when he’ll come out or how he’ll do it, but he wants to do it sometime in the near future, according to Freeman. He’s a little bit worried about how fans will react to the news, but he wants to do it anyway. And, it sounds like he’s probably not going to be alone when he does it.
In addition to that player, there are reportedly at least three other players who are going to come out sometime in the near future, too. According to former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (pictured above), the four players are currently communicating to try and pick out a time and date to make their announcement. And, they’re hoping that by coming together, they’ll be able to withstand whatever backlash comes their way.
“We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it,” Ayanbadejo said on Friday. “There are up to four players being talked to right now and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day.”
It sure would. But, is the NFL ready for it? From the sound of things, yes. Ayabadejo says that the NFL itself is actively communicating with players and being proactive about the idea of players coming out and revealing that they are gay. They are reportedly ready to attack any negativity that comes out of such a historic announcement. But, the fans are a whole other story.
In a perfect world, NFL fans would be able to accept the announcement and not let it affect their opinions of players. But, the reality is that those players who choose to come out will face backlash from fans. They will hear homophobic slurs thrown their way during games. They will get death threats on Twitter. And, they will need to turn the other cheek more often than they would probably like in order to avoid negativity. But, does that mean that they should cancel the announcement?
No way. I, for one, will support these players and think it’s great that they are thinking about coming out and letting the world know that they are gay. It is incredibly ignorant for anyone to think that gay athletes don’t exist. So, why should they be forced to hide their homosexuality? They shouldn’t. They should feel welcome to come out and reveal that they are gay.
I know that not everyone thinks like I do. But, I hope that that doesn’t stop the players from coming out. It’s 2013, and it’s time for the world to meet the first gay athlete—or, in this case, gay athletes—currently playing in a major professional sport. It’s been a long time coming. See you soon, guys?