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Gay men running amok in the NFL!

It was an open secret that Washington Redskins tight end Jerry Smith (87) was gay, something Vince Lombardi assured him would never be a problem so long as he remained coach.

Although he never officially came out, it was an open secret that Washington Redskins tight end Jerry Smith (87) was gay, something Vince Lombardi assured him would never be a problem so long as he remained coach.

To be, or not to be (gay), that is the question

Unless you were murdered on Sunday or are living under a rock, you have heard that professional basketball player Jason Collins has openly admitted he is gay. He is the first active professional athlete in any of the four major sports — football, basketball, baseball, or hockey — to “come out.”

Sure, Greg Louganis confessed his homosexual predilections, but he was a diver. Does diving even count as a sport?

Now please don’t panic. The gays aren’t about to ruin your favorite sport. In a private conversation I had with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, he assured me that “no past or current NFL player is, or ever has been, gay.”

Then again, I just made that up.

But I digress.

Now to a sport we all care about

These days it seems like you can’t swing a dead cat in NFL circles without the names [Oladele] Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe running up the flagpole. (Trust me; the mixed metaphor isn’t lost on me.) Hell, if the media isn’t bringing up some ridiculous comment they’ve made, you’re reading some ridiculous comment they are making through the media.

This all started back in April, 2012, when a member of the Maryland general assembly, Emmett C. Burns, wrote a letter to the Baltimore Ravens, denouncing Ayanbadejo for speaking out in favor of gay marriage. His basic argument was elegant in its simplicity: shut up and play football. Kluwe Chris took offense to this bit of advice and admonished Mr. Burns in a scathing letter published by Deadspin.

Incidentally, I find it deliciously ironic that Emmet Burns is a black Democrat.

There have always been gay men in the NFL, including former Green Bay Packers defensive linemen Dave Kopay, who came out after he retired from the game.

There have always been gay men in the NFL, including former Green Bay Packers defensive linemen Dave Kopay, who came out after he retired from the game.

Well, apparently, Ayanbadejo, who was recently released by the Ravens, didn’t learn his lesson. He claims there are at least four current professional players who are ready to admit publicly that they attracted to other men. (Wouldn’t it be funny if those other men were all ballet dancers?)

In other words, at least 32.86% of NFL players are gay! (Just not openly.) This is a scientific fact I just pulled out of my ass.

Roger, we have a problem

This is a problem for the NFL. The NFL is a brand. The NFL is a manly brand. Drinking lite beer is manly. Being gay is not manly. Gay players creeping into the ranks of the NFL represents nothing less than a cancer threatening to tear the fabric of this band of brothers.

Need proof? Ayanbadejo himself suggested that his outspoken ways may have played some part in his release.

Enter Kluwe, who has punted for the Minnesota Vikings since 2005 — and done an outstanding job, I might add. Kluwe is very outspoken, most notably for gay rights. He is also very active on Twitter. Now Chris believes that his social activism may cause him to get cut.

Combine this with the story about teams asking players about their sexual orientation during the 2013 NFK Scouting Combine, and it becomes apparent that the NFL has a gay problem.

Come on, man!

So let’s assume four NFL players “come out.” Does that tell us anything about how many gay men there are in the NFL?

Let’s start with the iceberg method. Approximately seven-eights (87.5%) of an iceberg lurks underwater. Assuming the four gentlemen that come out are the merely “tip of the iceberg,” we can assume there are 28 more that remain hidden from view. That would put us at 32 gay players leaguewide.

Whenever an NFL player does finally decide to come out, there will be plenty of fellow players waiting to welcome him with open arms.

Whenever an NFL player does finally decide to come out, there will be plenty of fellow players waiting to welcome him with open arms.

But we all know there must be more than that.

Let’s try a simple mathematical ratio. Each team in the NFL is allowed 53 men on their active roster and an additional eight man on their practice squad. Barring special circumstances, this brings the total number of NFL players to 1,952. A fairly conservative estimate compiled by Gallup puts the gay population at 10 percent of the general population. That means the number of gay players is closer to 192.

Still, all reasonable people can agree that even this number is low. It’s just common sense: gay athletes must be disproportionately attracted to the NFL. After all, what other sport, allows a virile young man — at the pinnacle of his powers — to shower in close proximity to 53 other strapping specimens of prime manflesh?

This isn’t rocket science, people.

That brings me back to my original estimate of 32.86 percent of active players. Surely we can all grant that there are 641.4271 actively gay players in the NFL.

If you don’t believe me, just count the number of players who choose to wear pink accessories long after Breast Cancer Awareness Month has come and gone.

No need to hide

I believe it would be weak and cowardly for me to drop this in your lap and not share my own opinion, so here it is:

I couldn’t care less. I can’t believe that we are having this conversation is 2013. The subject raises plenty of questions:

  • Is it okay to be gay?
  • Is it okay to be gay and share a locker room with straight men?
  • Will this affect team chemistry?
  • Will openly gay players affect attendance?

The truth is, I don’t care.

Just play ball. If you miss a tackle or drop a pass, I won’t be mad that you’re gay. I will be pissed that you couldn’t bring your man down or get your hands on the ball.

618 comments
MIBearFan
MIBearFan

After reading comments regarding this article, I feel the need to respond, in part, to a few of the issues that were raised.

First of all, this article was written primarily for two reasons:

1.To highlight a very current and relevant issue affecting the world of sports.

2.To spark debate.

I have no editor assigning me work. I have no hidden agenda. Apparently, however, I have missed the mark. You see, the debate I had hoped to stir was regarding openly gay athletes active in major sports. Instead, the debate seems to center around whether or not the article is offensive, or in poor taste.

This was a difficult article to write, for several reasons. The subject matter is very sensitive, the timeline covers a wide span, and the writing style, my style, lends itself to misinterpretation.The article was written tongue in cheek, laced with sarcasm and irony.

I suppose I could have gone further to reveal my feelings and intent, but I chose not to, so as not to direct the debate. I will do so now.

I am not a bigot. I am in favor of openly gay athletes, and I commend Jason Collins for having the courage to come out. If I have an issue with gay athletes, it is the closeted athletes that chose to have members of the straight community, such as Chris Kluwe, and Brendon Ayanbadejo fight their battle. Having said that, I am a straight male, and have no way to understand their plight on a personal level, therefore, it is not my place to judge.

I do not apologize for my writing style or opinion.

Prit
Prit

Aim small, miss small 

Prit
Prit

The Patriot, tomahawk scene is coming up. One of my favorites of all time.

Prit
Prit

Morning pecker heads...

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

MORNING LINKS! MORNING LINKS! MORNING LINKS!

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

Where's my morning article? I can't start my day without it.

G & G
G & G moderator

Morning good people of WCSN!!

Яouяke
Яouяke

All right, my guest (aka my landlord) has departed. I can finally start work for the day. 

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

IMO i personally think it was harder for a guy in the NBA to come out as opposed to the NFL, MLB, or, NHL. because 1) there are less people in the lockerroom making it hard to "hide" from anybody, and 2) as a general rule NBA players are younger and less mature than the rest, as the players in the other sports usually got to college for 3-4 years, and in the case of baseball and to a lesser degree hockey they then go to the minors for a year or so. whereas A lot of NBA players are still teenagers when they get into the league 

Nardo - Bears Too High
Nardo - Bears Too High

I noticed several commentators have said that it would have been more meaningful to the gay community if a more prominent athlete had been the first to come out.  I don't agree with this at all.  I think Collins is a great start.  He's a pro athlete, a veteran, well-educated, and he can handle whatever backlash may come with his decision to come out.  Let the debate happen.  Sure Tom Brady or Lebron James coming out is huge headlines, but that's not the point here.  

Prit
Prit

@BearsSaveLives Gotta like a player like that. But knowing the rules would help him out...

Яouяke
Яouяke

@Nard-Dog I personally don't find anyone coming out to be very meaningful, regardless of who he is. I advocate a pattern of just living your life and "letting your light shine before men." If you end up in a relationship with a person of your same sex and it is a happy, healthy relationship, I find that to be a much more useful way of "coming out" than staging a publicity stunt and drawing attention to yourself.

I find the Collins situation particularly galling because he got engaged to a woman, then broke it off just before the wedding, without ever telling her why. He broke her heart because he was too much of a coward to admit what he is. To his credit, he called her up privately and told her what was about to happen before the article was published, but I don't really find what he is doing noble or admirable, any more than it makes me respect a man when he talks about all the bitches he bags.

I don't walk around saying, HEY GUYZ IM A POLYGAMIST LULZ (except for this site, I suppose -- but I just made that clear to avoid the confusion of seemingly contradictory stories about my wife). We simply live our life. When people see me with two women, they are naturally curious and ask questions, so we tell them what they want to know.

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

@Nard-Dog i don't think it would be more meaningful to the gay community,  but it would have been easier for the respective league cause right now the NBA is faced with the problem that a 35 year old marginal player is going into freeagency. so now if a team doesn't sign him the league is biggoted but if a team does sign him it'd a publicity stunt. if it were top star or a rising player or even a strong veteran bench guy it would be looked at as more of a good personnel move, as much as a team signing a gay player 

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

@TheChainsawNinja i thought it was still 1, and that they were talking about 2 years but nothing was done yet 

Prit
Prit

@BearsSaveLives @Prit That's a good thing though. He can guided down the right path, and we already know he has the motivation to do it.