(Credit: Associated Press)
Speculation is running rampant around the NFL after a report from CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman stated that a homosexual NFL player is getting ready to reveal his identity. If this rumor does prove true, it will have a monumental impact on the historical perspective of the sport and how the game is perceived by its fans.
A gay NFL player would almost certainly be the top headline of the 2013 NFL season. Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons is just as curious as the rest of us regarding who the player is, but he’s also wary of the consequences of an NFL player revealing his homosexuality.
Who on Gods earth is this person saying he’s coming out of the closet in the NFL?
— Christopher Clemons (@chrisclemons91) March 26, 2013
As Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post reported, Clemons thinks that the decision of this anonymous NFL player to come out is simply “a selfish act” based on all the attention that it will undoubtedly bring to the player. Still, Clemons insisted to his Twitter followers that he is not homophobic.
@seahawkdaddy I don’t have a problem with anyone and there sexual preference.I love all people
— Christopher Clemons (@chrisclemons91) March 28, 2013
Clemons isn’t off base in saying that a player who revealed their homosexuality would be the focus of heightened media attention. That absolutely will be the case, no matter the stature of the player in the NFL. However, to say that the unnamed player would come out solely for that attention is ridiculous. Former 49ers right tackle Kwame Harris, who has come out following his retirement from the NFL, told Mike Foss of USA Today Sports that he is much more comfortable with himself now that he has revealed his homosexuality.
“You want to escape the despair and turmoil and your mind goes to dark places,” Harris said of keeping his sexuality secret. “I’m happy today, and I’m glad they were just ideas and I didn’t act on any of them”
“The cost was great not speak candidly open about myself in complete manner,” Harris said. “If I could have done it differently, I would have hoped I found the strength [to come out].”
This could become an extremely turbulent topic this offseason, but the NFL could soon become a leader in accelerating the acceptance of homosexuals with a high public profile.
Joe has been writing for the Sports-Kings since July 2012, covering football and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @jpray_SK.