Have you ever watched someone set up a super intricate domino pattern, and the entire time you were just waiting to see when they would finally start falling into place? That’s kinda how it is right now to watch the LGBT movement in professional sports.
Over the past few years, athletes, coaches and fans have been laying the groundwork for the first openly gay pro athlete. And with the recent rumour of a closeted NFL player readying himself to come out, the Bleacher Report has announced that now is perhaps the best time for an athlete to do so.
Please, if you think the time is right to come out, do it. There are more people than ever willing to accept, defend and celebrate you. It’s time for sports to catch up to the rest of society.
I’m not naive enough to think there isn’t homophobia in the NFL—with fans and within the locker room—but there is also tolerance.
I can’t pretend to know what the gay player referenced in the CBS report is going through. Announcing your homosexuality is a bell that cannot be un-rung, so this advice does not come flippantly.
But it’s time.
If we are to the point where national writers like Freeman are talking to current players about their gay teammates, we are closer to that day than ever before.
So, to whoever is contemplating this announcement, go ahead and jump. There are enough of us here to catch you, and we promise to hold you up for as long as you need.
Admittedly, there’s still a lot of homophobia in the locker room, but at this point, there needs to be some sort of catalyst here. Someone has to be the person to knock over the first domino and actually begin what others have laid the groundwork for.