Will So Called “Machismo” Get In The Way?

In the wake of NBA player Jason Collins’ admission that he is gay, more theories than one can count have come up regarding where this is headed in terms of other mainstream sports as well.  Certainly understandable.  And perhaps the most glaring question of them all arising from this is…are other players in different sports going to come out also? 

This is a subject that whole books can –and may end up – be written about.  For while it is commendable that Jason Collins did what he did, there is no doubt that the majority of professional athletes who are gay will still keep it under wraps, at least for the immediate future.  How it plays out down the line is anyone’s guess.

Of the four mainstream American sports; football, basketball, baseball and hockey if one had to guess which sport would be the most likely to have gay players keep mum it would probably be football and hockey.  For while the other two sports are viewed as manly endeavors there is an extra emphasis of machismo attached to the gridiron and the ice.  For purposes of this article, the remainder will be devoted to focusing on football.

There have indeed been football players who have admitted to being gay; however this was only done after their playing careers were over.  The first one was Dave Kopay, who came out way back in the 1970’s.  It was decades later before the others did.  However, things may indeed change soon, especially with the advocacy of linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who while not being gay himself is an avid supporter of gay rights and equality.

And there is yet another player, who while not currently playing in the NFL, may soon be.  That is Alan Gendreau, a former kicker for the Middle Tennessee State team.  Even though he was not drafted by any pro clubs, he is hoping to get tryouts with some of them.  Should Gendreau wind up on some NFL team, it is believed there will be a pretty good chance that some current pro football players may be emboldened to come out.

So while it’s very likely that there are at least a few (or perhaps more) NFL players who are indeed gay but have yet to express it, things are leaning toward the day when they and others in their situation will be comfortable letting their sexual orientation be known.  Most players, we’re sure would rather be known for their contributions on the gridiron and the types of human beings they are than for what type of sexual lifestyle they choose to live.