How The First NFL Gay Baller Wolf Plan Fell Apart

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tumblr_mp9l1zL8hg1ql22nko6_250yeah no dancing right now.
so remember when some nfl baller wolf was suppose to come out the closet?
it was supposed to be four of them?
well this article from the bleacher report explains why it allegedly didn’t happen.
thank you to the f-bi for this update because i was wondering myself what happened.
its a long read so get a snack:

The team had decided yes. The player had decided the same. It was set. It was going to happen. An NFL player was going to publicly say he was gay and then play in the NFL.

What happened before that moment showed how parts of the NFL are progressive and ready for change. Then, what happened next showed how the sport is still in some ways fearful of it.

The following account is based on interviews with approximately a dozen people, including team and league officials, current and former players, and gay-rights advocates. Some were directly involved with the discussions that nearly led to the first openly gay NFL player. Further illustrating the intense secrecy, delicacy and fear surrounding the subject, none of the principals wanted to be identified. They also refused to identify the team or the player…

It was early this past spring when a closeted gay player, who was a free agent, reached out to a small group of friends and told them about his sexual orientation. The friends, both current and former players, and others with NFL connections, then contacted a handful of teams to gauge their interest in the player and their comfort with that player talking openly about being gay if they signed him.

A number of teams contacted passed. The player was told they didn’t have a need at his position. The player told a recently retired player he believed the teams declined because they feared the attention a gay NFL player would receive from the public and media.

Yet some teams were interested, and one team actually said yes. It wasn’t a lukewarm yes or a conditional one. It was a definite yes.

The team expressed that it didn’t care if the player was gay and had no issue with him announcing he was gay after signing. The player expected the signing, and subsequent announcement, to happen in June. This would give the team, fans and media a month to adjust to the news before training camp began.

It was during these talks with the team, occurring in late March and early April, that reports surfaced about the possibility of an openly gay player emerging. In effect, word of the impending signing was leaking. I reported a player was strongly considering coming out. My reporting was based on speaking to several NFL players. Word of an openly gay player signing was spreading among a portion of the player base.

Gay-rights advocate and former Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo said in April that he believed several gay players might come out. He later backed away from the number of players but stood by his statement that a gay player would soon emerge onto the NFL stage.

Some months later, it’s possible Ayanbadejo may have been right. The feeling now among team officials, as well as current and former players, is that there wasn’t just one gay player ready to shed his secret, but multiple ones.

“I don’t know how close we are,” Ayanbadejo said to Bleacher Report in regard to having an openly gay player. “I just know there are gays in the NFL but their identities remain confidential.”

The sources paint a remarkable picture. At least two or three gay players, each unaware of the other, living in different parts of the country, with different sets of friends and agents, each contemplating the same thing: coming out.

That period was, as one gay-rights advocate described it, “the spring of optimism for the NFL and gay rights.” There was a feeling that the NFL was on the verge of crossing this significant barrier. There was great excitement. It was going to happen.

Until it didn’t.

***

The question now is: What happened?

In considering possible answers, it’s important to know five things.

First: Estimates of how many gay players are in the NFL range widely, but some of them, from people intimately familiar with the league, are far higher than might be assumed by the outside public.

Players and team executives give totals ranging from several dozen to several hundred. (There are about 2,000 players in the league.) One former general manager said he believes the number of gay players is 30-40.

Second: The NFL and union know the identities of some gay players, according to many sources—a gay-rights advocate, a union official and a team official. The league and union learn who these players are from other players and coaches. They keep the identities of these players secret. In some cases, teams do so to protect the players. In many cases, teams learn the identities to avoid signing them as free agents.

Third: The league office backs the idea of an openly gay player, but one high-ranking league official believes the NFL isn’t yet ready for one. League executives think football is three to five years away from accepting such a player, according to an NFL source. The league plans to carefully and deliberately make the atmosphere more tolerant and comfortable in the meantime, setting the stage for when that happens.

The NFL actually wants an openly gay player because it would be one of the last barriers broken in the sport and show professional football as a tolerant sport. And not everyone thinks the league needs to wait. Another league-office executive said the NFL is ready now. “We are prepared,” he stated. “The league would give the player and his team all the support necessary.”

In response to this story the NFL issued a statement saying all players are protected by the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. A manual given to every player during training camp includes language about violent or threatening behavior between employees inside and outside of the workplace. It includes documents relating to sexual harassment and sexual orientation.

Fourth: Some individual franchises, however, are not as enthusiastic about the prospect as the league office seems to be. Several team officials say the largest obstacle to an openly gay player is the resistance of a significant number of NFL owners and a smaller number of general managers and coaches.

Fifth: Many in the league are fearful of acting or even speaking on this subject. Quite simply, teams remain terrified of signing an openly gay player.

One team official gave an example of why there is such fear. He posed a question: What if a gay player came out in a place like the Dolphins locker room, where there was allegedly severe hazing?

Some stories out of the last NFL combine indicated teams are worried. Nick Kasa, a prospective pro out of the University of Colorado, told ESPN Radio in Denver earlier this year that during interviews with team officials at the combine in Indianapolis: “(Teams) ask you, like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Are you married?’ ‘Do you like girls?’” Big-name players like Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell indicated in radio interviews that they were asked similar questions. The assumption was that the questions were some form of standard operating procedure not tied to the particular interviewees.

During media day before this past Super Bowl, 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver said, “I don’t do the gay guys, man. I don’t do that. Got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff…Can’t be…in the locker room, nah. You’ve gotta come out 10 years later after that.” 

It’s this fear of gays that helps explain why many in the NFL are nervous about addressing the issue on the record. Some sources feel that talking openly about gay issues will label them as being part of the gay-player discussion and harm them in their current positions across the sport.

Still, some players strongly believe an openly gay player would be welcome in an NFL locker room.

“Players, in general, don’t care what other players do in the bedroom,” Arizona kicker Jay Feely, who is in his 13th season and has been a longtime union representative, told Bleacher Report. “Whether that is being celibate, having an affair, being happily married for 20 years or being gay. No one cares. The only thing they care about is winning games (and getting paid). That’s the honest truth.

“This story is not about football or locker rooms but outside factors and agendas that are using football as the carrot to attract attention for their own personal gain.”

To others, both in football and out of it, an openly gay NFL player would be a monumental moment, signaling that yet another barrier has fallen not just in sports, but all of society.

***

This past spring, it seemed imminent that barrier was going to collapse with not one, but two players having found teams that would sign them knowing they would come out.

Along with the initial player discussed in this article, there was a fairly well-known defensive back. He drew interest from at least one AFC team that knew he was gay. Coaches on the team were asked if they were OK with a gay player. They were. Some defensive players were casually queried, according to an official on the team. All of the players asked said it wouldn’t be an issue. They were not told the name of the player.

According to the team, the potential deal collapsed when the player wanted too much money. If that was the case—and there is doubt about that among gay-rights advocates—it stands apart from everything else league insiders are saying about an NFL which they know includes many gay players and not a single one who will publicly acknowledge he’s gay.

The first player, the one who expected to sign in June, heard in mid-to-late May from the interested team that it would no longer be signing him, officials from other teams told Bleacher Report. The player was told the reason why was fear of intense media coverage.

It was at the end of April that NBA player Jason Collins wrote a first-person story for Sports Illustrated in which he stated he was gay. The story became one of the most discussed in recent sports history.

The NFL player told a former teammate he believes the Collins story, and others about gay athletes around that time, caused the team to withdraw its offer. It was afraid of the attention. Now, six months and countless injuries to active players later, neither he nor the other player has signed with a team.

While being afraid to sign an openly gay player smacks of cowardice—the Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson knowing there would be not only disapproval but possibly violence directed against the club—it remains a fact teams fear almost any type of controversy. And this would be one of the more talked about stories ever.

So after lots of talk of a gay NFL player coming out, the talk disappeared. Because NFL teams, in the end, got cold feet. It’s that simple.

The sport still isn’t quite ready for an openly gay NFL player.

***

All sources close to the players were asked one question repeatedly: Why don’t the players just come out?

The answer was the same—fear. If they come out before signing, they won’t get signed. While the players want to help push change, they also want to play football. Some will point to how Collins remains unemployed post-announcement.

The other problem is the league itself. It has, at times, moved extraordinarily slow on this issue. One gay-rights advocate who has had extensive dealings with the NFL said the league is trying to do the right thing but “it’s like changing the course of a cruise ship.”

Go back to an important fact. At least one league official believes pro football is three to five years away from a gay player coming out. Thus we’re seeing the S.S. NFL turning hard to starboard toward a gay player coming out, but turning ever so slowly.

It will happen. It’s just a question of when.

The two likeliest scenarios remain true. The first is what happened with the NBA’s Collins could happen in the NFL. A player toward the end of his career comes out while a free agent or just after signing with a team.

The other possibility is a high-profile player in college is openly gay and has discussed this in media interviews for years. By the time he’s picked high in the NFL draft, his sexuality has been so discussed and analyzed that no one cares.

And that is the goal. Reach a day when no one will care.

i kinda feel likeeeeeeeeee…
they said who it was without actually saying it.
did anyone else get that impression?
either way:
2r7oehj

…yeah,
so any thoughts?

article found: the bleacher report

20 thoughts on “How The First NFL Gay Baller Wolf Plan Fell Apart

  1. First thought:I wish me and the guy in the blue jeans under Lust could run away and live together forever.The look on his face is saying “come with me and leave everything else behind.”

    Second thought:I don’t think we’re ready for openly gay players.I think they’re trying to force it and it’s not happening.It’s too much too soon.I know we live in a new time where gays are accepted but in such a macho masculine sport that has replaced Baseball as America’s Past-time.I don’t see it happening.They should stop trying to force it.We know there are gay players.Just let them be and stop trying to make them role models.A player shouldn’t announce that he’s gay.He should post pics of him and his boyfriend without saying a word.ESPN would blow it up.

    • ^good opinion zen!

      ill say it once and il say it again.
      these people are only coming out for a pay check.
      they saw careers don’t really get enhanced by the few people who came out.
      it seems to bring about more good than bad so they said either pay me more or im back in the closet.

      • I agree, to me it seems they just want the next big story/headlines the same way Magic Johnson and AIDS were in the 90′s.I could really tell they were in it for the pay check when it said that the players would announce they’re gay when they’re signed.They’re basically saying “LOOK AT US, WE HAVE A GAY PLAYER ON THE TEAM AND WE TREAT HIM LIKE ANY OTHER PLAYER, AREN’T WE SO PROGRESSIVE…. ALRIGHT GAYS, SUPPORT US BY BUYING OUR MERCHANDISE.”

        They’re using the players orientation to sell jerseys.I don’t like it one bit.That’s why I think a player should come out by posting pics with his boyfriend out of the blue.There’s no need to announce anything.Are you going to announce your life story, telling every detail down to the last person you had sex with and what positions you were in.Is there really a need for a public coming out of the closet.Do other players have to announce they’re straight.They can be gay on the social media sites by posting pics of men they like or commenting on men they like.But if your hiding it and then feel the need to get on a mic in front of reporters and announce it then you’re not being honest.It isn’t for you to get it off your chest because coming out isn’t needed or called for.We don’t wear a big G on our foreheads so everyone can know we’re gay.That’s how I know this isn’t for the greater good.Just be yourself on twitter and instagram.Post a pic of you and bf kissing or hugging.Don’t be DL and then all of sudden out and proud.

  2. Can you post Brendon? Me loves him, Jamari. Me loves him. Lol so much to say on this topic. America isn’t ready yet but we have to force them to get comfortable. Gays are masculine too. Now breathe and keep going.

  3. Is it really that serious though?

    What’s with the obsession with gay football players?

    I doubt the people that care so much about it even follow football

    • Well I care, and I been watching football for 8 years, and I played flag football in the 6th grade myself, I actually forgot about that lol.

      I want to see the response from around the league from it. I’m also wondering who the athlete would be? Will he be a success, will he be fine lol, and most importantly will he be accepted by his teammates.

    • you hit the nail on the head. the people talking about it have little to zero knowledge of football.

      the real football fan could care less it’s about his contribution to the team.

      that’s why the Kordell Stewart mess is of no interest to SI,PFT,ESPN or mainstream sports sites.

  4. I did catch the hint of Carrie in that article. I also caught a lot of Johnathan Martin in it.

    The NFL wants a gay player but the fans don’t. Like they said if a high profiled college player is openly gay and everybody is use to it then it won’t even matter

    • I agree with that they are forcing the issue because most who watch don’t care.

      I believe one of the players is Kerry Rhodes obviously because he was not really hiding it like he doing now.

      I wonder who the other ones are

      Who you think the others could possibly be?

    • Actually the player(s) in question are high profile and secure in their positions with their teams and no danger of losing their starting jobs. Neither is a favorite of the gossip blogs. Neither have baby mommas drama.

      The entire process was derailed by the showboating with a former player and activists wanting 15 minutes of fame who had no first hand knowledge of either.

  5. “several hundred”? i wonder if they included “bi” in that. Excluding “bi” from the question/figures is often used to deflect

  6. The “young kats” reading the blog need to take the time to find and read the E Lynn Harris trilogy’s and get the in site on how the DL player works in the NFL and NBA and fly under the radar.

  7. I have always said that there are gay players, but they keep the situation hidden. It is such an issue that no one should have to look over their shoulders for being human and loving the same sex.

  8. As much as I think it will be a good thing for a gay player to come out, for the sport, and for peoples perception of gays in society, it really doesn’t sit well with me how the gay community is practically forcing this issue. It even seems like they’re putting A LOT of pressure on the NFL too… to identify a gay player…so they can start the media circus.

    The “coming out” is becoming too staged…..too rehearsed……too sensationalized. I feel like they’re gonna out someone, or force him out, when he’s not entirely ready. Slow down. It should be organic.

    To prepare, the NFL needs to preemptively provide their coaches and players with the proper media training, and diversity education. The gay activists (Ayanbedejo, Kluiwe, Davis, etc) should prepare as well. Then they all should sit back and STFU until a player feels like he’s ready.

    Stop forcing it. We exist everywhere, this is true. It’ll only be a matter of time.

Play nice, stay on topic, and for the love of god: NO SPAM!