The hot button issue in the U.S. right now is marriage equality. Over the next couple of days, the Supreme Court will consider two cases that could conceivably alter gay marriage. The Court is set to hear arguments about Proposition 8 on Tuesday, which prohibits gay marriage in California. Additionally, Justices will talk about the Defenses of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
How is this relevant to the NFL? Well, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com is reporting that a present-day player is considering coming out.
“Based on interviews over the past several weeks with current and former players, I’m told that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months — and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career…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.” – Mike Freeman (CBSSports.com)
It can be assumed that most players don’t want to put the ‘I’ in ‘Team’ or create any distractions. The players who are gay, who are on the cusp of making a team probably fear that the team will decide to put another player on the roster, one who is straight and one that won’t draw attention to themselves in a “team-first” sport. It’s more likely that a player who is winding down his career would come out.
Regardless, the moment that an active player comes out will be a huge history book moment in the NFL.