After a report surfaced last week saying that an NFL player is “strongly considering” saying that he is gay, NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth revealed the union has been working hard to prepare players for the announcement, which he now sees as unavoidable.
Foxworth says that they are preparing players to deal with the idea of an openly gay player in the NFL(source: usatoday.com)
“We’ve had quite a few meetings with a number of organizations to help educate our players,” Foxworth said Tuesday while on WNST-AM in Baltimore. “It’s important that we educate our guys and be ready for this inevitability.”
Foxworth went on to say that he believes there are gay players in the NFL already, and went as far as to say he believes “there are probably gay players in the Hall of Fame”. Foxworth has been working with players to make sure that the initial shock is lessened when it does inevitably happen.
“It’s not gonna be easy for that person, which is why we’re doing everything we can,” Foxworth said. “When the public finds out about it, it’s going to be a media storm and it’s gonna be a lot of press and a lot of attention. And probably not all of it’s gonna be positive. … Someone on Twitter brought this up to me … it doesn’t have to be one player. When one player comes out [it's possible] multiple players will, because they are in our league right now.”
The debate over gay players in the league has elicited responses, both positive and negative from players. 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was famously quoted before the super bowl as saying that he would not accept a gay player in the locker room. Culliver apologized soon after and spent a day with an organization in Los Angeles that provides crisis and suicide intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youths.
A player that had the opposite reaction of Culliver was Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, who said today in an interview with Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco on ESPN Radio New York that he would be open to the idea.
“I got this question before, about a year ago, and I basically will say the same answer that I did a year ago,” he said Wednesday when asked how the Patriots’ locker room would receive an openly gay player. “You’ve got to accept the player. Everyone has their own ways to live their life and as long as he’s respecting me, keeping distance, respecting myself, I’ll respect him back.
“If he’s being a great teammate and he’s a guy on the field doing a great job, well then you’ve got nothing to complain about. He’s another teammate and another friend.”
Regardless of which side of the debate you may be on, rest assured that this debate isn’t over, and that when a player eventually DOES come out, it’s going to be a media feeding frenzy.
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