CBS Reporter: Current NFL Player May Come Out


In this episode of All in the Family, Archie Bunker learns even football players can be gay.

With the tide finally turning against the homophobes in America, a seasoned sports reporter named Mike Freeman believes a current gay NFL player will come out.

While I've long believed I would not see an openly gay NFL player for decades, that might be wrong.

Based on interviews over the past several weeks with current and former players, I'm told that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months -- and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career.

I'm told this player feels the time is now for someone to take this step -- despite homophobic remarks from San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver and the controversy arising recently at the Indianapolis Scouting combine, when prospects were asked questions about their sexuality.

This player's true concern, I'm told, is not the reaction inside an NFL locker room but outside of it. The player fears he will suffer serious harm from homophobic fans, and that is the only thing preventing him from coming out. My sources will not say who this alleged player is.

There has never been an active openly gay player in a major American team sport, but the information I've gathered on the player in question comes from several current and former players.

There has never been an active openly gay player in a major American team sport, but the information I've gathered on the player in question comes from several current and former players.

For years, the worry of a gay pro athlete came from within his own community and so they remained silent. Who could blame them, but now the fear jumps to the homophobic fans. I wish I could say he had nothing to worry about, but that would be wishful thinking on my end. However, we could stand with him wherever he plays and help ease his challenges. Jackie Robinson was chosen by Branch Rickey to break the color barrier in 1947 and Jackie only lived to 53, but a lot has happened since the 40's.

To Fujita and others, this is an important case that could have ramifications in the NFL. If the Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8, it would send yet another signal to closeted gay NFL players that the environment is changing for the better.

The brief's supporters are impressive. They include: Giants co-owner Steve Tisch; Demaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA; Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo; Marie Tillman, co-founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation; Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records; former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans; Browns center Alex Mack; and NFL players Connor Barwin, D'Qwell Jackson, Tom Crabtree, Eric Winston and Scott Shanle, among others.

There is a feeling among people who have fought this battle for years that a corner is about to be turned. I don't know. While my faith in humanity remains tepid, it's balanced by my faith in people like Fujita.

Once the color barrier was breached, things changed and sports directly led the way for racial equality in America. It will take another brave person to lead again. If and when they do, let's support him/her as best as we can.

Although support for gay marriage has never been higher in America, it only takes a few to bring disgrace down upon us.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.