Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's been a lot of handwringing over the possibility of a current NFL player coming out as gay, mostly (of course) from those on the wrong side of history.
It's been suggested that a gay player will be a distraction - within locker rooms, on the field, and in the media, with an outed player drawing 24/7 coverage that would rival or even surpass that given Peyton Manning's predecessor in Denver.
Perhaps one openly gay player would be a distraction to an extent. But what if there were four such players, and they all uncloseted themselves simultaneously? Then, the glare of the spotlight would be a shared one. Says Brendon Ayanbadejo, recently released by the Ravens:
I think it will happen sooner than you think. We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. 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 if a handful or a few guys come out.
Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It's cool. It's exciting. We're in talks with a few guys who are considering it. The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens. We'll see what happens.
I had a great talk with [NFL vice president of player engagement] Troy Vincent. The NFL wants to be proactive about what's going on with players and some of the remarks and incidents that have been happening with the LGBT community. The NFL wants me to talk to the rookie class and they are talking about potentially having talks with all the guys about LGBT sensitivity. I think all the major sports groups need to be productive and take a stance.
Everyone has a relative or friend that's in the LGBT community, whether it's Paul Tagliabue's son or people in the Ravens organization who have relatives in the LGBT community. I gave Troy my suggestions.
As noted by Deadspin, the coverage of such an event will obviously be something to behold. But as USA Today's Chris Chase notes, it's a brilliant idea, one which figures to spread the attention across the league and to several locker rooms, and to remind (or inform) people that gay athletes represent a larger contingent than is typically assumed.
Obviously, we here at IAOFM are all for NFL players helping lead the way in fighting homophobia and supporting marriage equality, and applaud the efforts of Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, Scott Fujita toward that end.
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