Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 6/12/12
Connor Barwin has spoken out. He has dropped the hammer. He has expressed a normal and popular sentiment about homosexuality that feelsfamiliar to all of us. This is headline news because Connor Barwin is a football player, one who playsin the NFL. Barwin, a linebacker for the Houston Texans, is not gay, but if he were, hedoesn't think it would be that big of a deal in the Houston Texans' lockerroom, or any other in the NFL."I think, right now, it would probably be hardfor a guy to come out in our locker room just because of the awkwardness,"Barwin told the website OutSports.com. "But I think they would besurprised at how welcoming people would be. I think at the end of the day, guyscare about how you play football, because we're all so competitive aboutwinning that if there is a guy who comes out as gay in our locker room and he'sa good football player, people aren't going to care about that. I think that'sthe honest truth." OutSports.com explores the intersections of homosexuality and the sportsworld. The story has quickly been picked up my mainstream media outletsand turned Barwin otherwise best known for getting lots of sacks and resemblingCosmo Kramer of Seinfeld into an inspirational figure of sorts on thisissue. Barwin, who has a gay brother, admits he hasn't had a conversation with ateammate about this particular hypothetical. I don't have any reason to doubtwhat Barwin is saying. He's the one in the locker room every day. So if he saysit wouldn't be that big of a deal, I'm inclined to believe him unless anotherNFL player tells me otherwise, and that seems unlikely. The main reason it seems unlikely is that I have a hard time believingattitudes toward homosexuality are much different inside an NFL locker room asthey are outside one. The issue is controversial so there are going to bevarying opinions, but I believe the prevailing attitude toward homosexuality inthe United States in 2012, especially among people in their 20s and 30s, is oneof acceptance. Its unfair to assume football players are not riding thespinning wheel of American culture with the rest of us. Basically, there is nothing surprising about what Barwin said. The greatest truth he expressed to OutSports.com was that "at the end ofthe day, guys care about how you play football." Wins and losses are allthat ever matter in sports, which is why teams have a long history of acceptingthose society was not ready to accept as long as they were a positivecomponent of the club. "It would help a lot if the player was a contributor to the team,"Barwin told OutSports.com. "If he was a guy that people didn't like hispersonality or wasn't helping on the team, I think it would be very hard forhim." There are almost 1,700 NFL players at any given moment. Some of them are gay.They have to be. It might be a lower percentage than the population at large,but even if it's 1 percent, then there is one gay player for every two NFLteams. So far, no player has come out during his career, and Barwin said he hasnever known a teammate to be gay. But there's a difference between knowing a teammate to be gay and knowingyou've had some gay teammates, and NFL players know that. Because, though, theylive in the macho hetero football world, they live in the real world, too. "It's amazing how many people know relatives or friends who are gay,"Barwin said. "So I think it might not be as hard as some peoplethink."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass


Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

Country singer wears Fournette LSU jersey after losing bet

Carrie Underwood trolls Ryan Johansen for kissing stick

DeMarcus Cousins on looking angry: 'I'm an ugly dude'

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker