Over the past several weeks, the world of sports has seen an eruption of talk about LGBT athletes as WNBA star Brittney Griner and NBA star Jason Collins have both come out as gay. Now, former American college football star Kevin Grayson is following in their footsteps and recently decided to come out as gay.
The former University of Richmond star broke the news to CBS 6 in Richmond, Virginia, saying that his coming out was a shock to many people.
“People didn’t believe it because I was an athlete,” Grayson said “They’re like ‘Kevin plays football, he plays basketball he runs track–no way you know?’”
Grayson explained that, like many athletes before him, he was taught to believe that opening up about his sexuality would make him a pariah and ruin his chances of becoming a star player. However, he now questions why such a discriminatory belief is held about LGBT athletes.
“Those are the types of things where if I could go back and say; ‘Why can’t I be an athlete? Why can’t I be a star player? Why can’t I be the guy making plays that helps my team win, and still on the flip side, be a gay male?’” he asked.
And, though he was closeted, that’s what Grayson was; a highly decorated football star. A torn ligament kept him from being drafted in the NFL in 2011, but he helped Italy’s Parma Panthers win a championship last year and he was even awarded the title of MVP.
Grayson claims, like every other athlete, he heard anti-gay slurs in the sanctuary of the team’s locker room.
“You know, it’s like ‘Stop being a princess, stop being a fa**ot,’ you know– ‘Homo!’” explained Grayson. “While you’re in the football aspect of it, no one is really thinking about it. You have coaches that are, I guess, just naive to the fact that they could have a gay player in their meeting.”
Grayson also claimed to know some active NFL players who are also gay. Grayson even explained that he was able to come out to a few of his teammates before making his big revelation to the world.
“It’s like the biggest weight lifted off your shoulders. To know that you have a teammate that basically says ‘I don’t care,’” he said.
“Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you can’t be the athlete you want to be. Doesn’t mean you can’t be a star. Doesn’t mean you can’t go out there and go just as hard as anybody else, if not harder,” Grayson added.
Grayson is absolutely right. We commend him for coming out and becoming another beacon of hope for change and a guiding light for other LGBT athletes, both older and younger. Thankfully, Grayson is joining a growing list of LGBT athletes living out and proud. Check out some other ballers who have come out after the cut. – nicholas robinson