All year long, the world has been keeping a keen eye on the world of sports as the nation continues its watershed push toward sexual and gender equality in every aspect of society, from the law to entertainment and even the locker rooms. And though stigma and an anti-gay bias still looms over the world of pro sports, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III recently claimed that now is the time for any closeted gay athletes to come out of the closet.
The football star made the bold statement in his new cover feature for GQ magazine while discussing the “growing sense” that the NFL would soon see its first openly gay player, to which Griffin shared his support.
“Yeah, man. I think there are [gay players] right now, and if they’re looking for a window to just come out, I mean, now is the window,” said Griffin. “My view on it is, yes, I am a Christian, but to each his own. You do what you want to do. If some Christians want to look at being gay as a sin, then thinking about other women, committing adultery — or any of those other sins that are in the Bible — those are sins, too. And God looks at all of us the same way.”
Over the past year, several NFL players, including Brendon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe and Rob Gronkowski have come out in support of the idea of having openly gay teammates. However, other players, like Chris Culliver have been less than enthusiastic about the idea.
Despite the obvious opposition, in May, commissioner Roger Goodell challenged the notion that the NFL is homophobic and claimed that his athletes would embrace a gay teammate.
“I have such great respect for our players,” Goodell said. “I don’t think it will just be tolerated, I think it will be accepted. These are individuals who play in our league. We’re all different in some fashion, and we’re accepting of our differences.”
Considering the way that Kerry Rhodes has been seemingly shut out of the NFL over simply being accused — with loads of evidence — of being gay, we’re not exactly sold on the idea of an openly gay NFL player being able to walk a smooth path on the field and in the locker rooms, but the reality stands that no changes can be made to the NFL, and no players and owners can rise to the occasion of being good allies, if no closeted players will come out.
Check out some other LGBT sports allies below. –nicholas robinson