Radio host and draft analyst Benjamin Allbright earlier this week Tweeted about frank conversations he had last month with two closeted veteran NFL players.
Honoring their discretion, Allbright articulated what the two athletes had told him.
1/2 Spoke with two veteran NFL players this month who are gay, and would publicly come out if they knew “media wouldn’t make it a thing.”
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) July 27, 2015
2/2 Both said teammates “mostly know,” and are “supportive.” Say most who know “just avoid it [the subject] altogether.” — Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) July 27, 2015 Re: last two tweets both players fearful of media/public, say team/teammates are supportive.
Re: last two tweets both players fearful of media/public, say team/teammates are supportive. — Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) July 27, 2015
While this would ideally lessen the media sensationalizing coming out stories, outlets like OutSports aren’t buying the players’ excuse.
Writer Jim Buzinski did not hold back when expressing his disdain.
I’m calling bullshit on one part of this. Not that Allbright didn’t talk to gay players, since they do exist. And I bet those were their reasons they stated to him for not going public.
But they are more excuses than reasons since they absolutely know the media will make this a big deal; since that won’t change, this gives them the pretext to not come out.
Buzinski goes on to agree that while the media fixation on the players would be high, it would absolutely die down, as it’s been proven in the past, citing out athletes Jason Collins, Michael Sam and Robbie Rogers. “Rogers quickly became just another player (in a good way),” Buzinski added.
Since Sam left the NFL to join the The Montreal Alouettes, there are currently no openly gay players in the NFL.
“These anonymous NFL players should strongly consider coming out since it would help countless young gay athletes see that it is possible to be gay and play their favorite sport,” Buzinski said.