A gay US National Football League player has indicated he may publicly come out, and plans to continue playing.
He would become the first ever active openly gay player in a major American team sport. The mystery player says he’s not worried about homophobia in the locker room, but outside.
According to Mike Freeman of CBS Sports, players and straight NFL allies Scott Fujita and Brendon Ayanbadejo have been “working diligently to create a safe atmosphere for the day history will happen: when an openly gay man will be a member of an NFL club.”
“There are serious indications that day may come sooner than later. While I’ve long believed I would not see an openly gay NFL player for decades, that might be wrong,” added Freeman.
NFL player Scott Fujita said: “I honestly think the players of the NFL have been ready for an openly gay player for quite some time now. Trust me, the coming out of a player would create much bigger waves outside the locker room than inside.
“The way I’ve seen the conversation around LGBT issues evolve, especially in the past few years, has been encouraging. Guys are more accepting than they used to be. Even those who raise personal objections to homosexuality, some of whom are good friends of mine, would still be able to coexist and accept a gay teammate.”
There is no set date for when the player is expected to come out, but Freeman says: “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.”