Even though many professional athletes are updating their views about gays in general, it’s still not an atmosphere for a gay athlete to feel comfortable in making their sexual preference known.
Just hours after San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was surrounded by microphones and forced into an apology for anti-gay remarks, Ronnaiah Tuiasosopo was on television acknowledging he was gay. He spoke of his desire to have a relationship with what he says was an unwitting Manti Te’o, driving him to impersonate a female online and over the phone.
Te’o maintains he is “far from” gay, a question no less than Katie Couric asked him. His answer is worth accepting if only because it’s not anyone’s business who someone chooses to love.
The real issue is even if Te’o, or another athlete, were homosexual, how in the world would they summon the fortitude and accept the risk to come out while seeking a professional life in an NFL locker room? Clearly, at least in some number, locker rooms are still populated by bigots who agree with Culliver.
“It’s going to take a very courageous person,” said Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brandon Ayanbadejo, who is straight but a very public supporter of gay rights.