As the years pass by, talks of an openly gay player in the NFL seem to have increased. Former Baltimore Raven, Brendon Ayanbadejo, has been a gay rights supporter for a long time. He states that being open about his support has landed him in the unemployment line known as NFL free agency.
Ayanbadejo is at it again today, spreading word that up to four players are coordinating to come out on the same day. This will, in theory, reduce the pressure put on the individual by decreasing the individual burden and spotlight of going it alone. Ayanbadejo told a Baltimore Sun reporter that “it could be sooner than we think,” which could be hinting to this year.
So, looking ahead what would happen if four gay players came out? I don’t think it will lessen the pressure on any of them if they did it on the same day because they are most likely not on the same team and therefore they will have to deal with the issue directly in front of them before they deal with the entire NFL’s view. The idea that coming out on the same day will relieve pressure seems, to me, to be a theory that wouldn’t work. No one on the Patriots is going to care if a player on the Arizona Cardinals comes out or vice versa; they just don’t because they aren’t connected with the situation.
In 2011, a study was done by UCLA’s School of Law that stated that 3.8% of Americans are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. So in all this time, the likelihood that there has been a gay player in the NFL is extremely likely; in fact it’s a certainty. The thing that is horrible to think of is that these people couldn’t tell anyone about it for fear of rejection. Let me throw something else at you; there have been gay players in the NFL and until this point no one has ever known, so in what way are they so different? Why would a player you’ve known and loved as a teammate before be any different? They wouldn’t.
The thing that pisses me off is it shouldn’t be news whatsoever. It’s a person’s life and that shouldn’t be on the front cover of a newspaper. People like to think they have learned from history, but it’s apparent we haven’t. Americans have trouble adjusting to things that are different. In history people have been persecuted for all types of differences beyond their control and it was, and still remains, wrong. I don’t have to go into things like race and religion for all of you to see the similarity.
I hope it all comes out because undoubtedly there are more than just four gay NFL players. It is a constitutional right of every person to pursue what makes them happy.