Posted May 10, 2013

Roger Goodell: Gay players in NFL will ‘be accepted,’ not just tolerated

NFL
Roger Goodell said that he believes a gay player would be "accepted" in the NFL. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Roger Goodell said that he believes a gay player would be “accepted” in the NFL. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A little more than a week after Jason Collins became the first active major-sport professional athlete to reveal he is gay, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that he believes gay players will “be accepted” in the NFL.

“I have such great respect for our players,” Goodell said in a wide-ranging interview with NFL.com.

“I don’t think it will just be tolerated, I think it will be accepted. These are individuals who play in our league. We’re all different in some fashion, and we’re accepting of our differences. That’s what this is all about. To me, if it happens in the league, that’s a personal choice that someone would decide to do. But I know their teammates and teams, and I think the fans, will all respond the right way.”

A week and a half ago, Jason Collins’ story was published by SI.com. Some NFL players have long been vehement in their advocacy for gay rights, including linebackers Scott Fujita and Brendon Ayanbadejo and punter Chris Kluwe. Earlier this year, CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman reported that a gay player currently in the NFL was strongly considering making a public revelation.

In his interview with NFL.com, Goodell also discussed the league’s diversity and Tim Tebow, and the new “crown-of-the-helmet” rule set to take effect this season.


69 comments
Ciscos
Ciscos

At the end of the day, this isn't even a story.  No one should be tripping off a gay athlete in professional sports.  If they can be paramedics, police officers, politicians or a soldiers, then they can dunk a basketball, run in a race or play football.

 

If anyone is having heartburn over it - get over yourselves. 

Loki
Loki

not many players will allow an outdated view of homosexuality to interfere with their ability to make so much money....those that claim to hate gays will suddenly find themselves focusing on their paychecks rather than the sexual orientation of other players....the only people that should care about a gay football player are other gay people that might be interested in dating that player....for everyone else, he's just another player...seriously, if you are a guy who has a personal interest in someone else's sexual orientation, then you are probably gay as straight guys don't worry about it...it isn't relevant to straight guys...

Mike72
Mike72

Seems the only people that want to watch gays are other gays. I dont want to see them...ever in any shape or form. He is just saying what the mdia wants to hear. anything else and the nfl would be bashed by libs and gays. There would be protest at ever game by hundreds of fags.

Jeif
Jeif

That's too bad

trlinhart
trlinhart

thats the right thing to do but if you dont like watching gay players just dont go to bgames or watch tem?

GaryBehling
GaryBehling

It may put a whole new spin on the term receiver in the locker room though.

101flyboy
101flyboy

I think a lot of guys think like Demario Davis and Kirk Cousins do. If you don't know what they've said you can look it up. 

 

I think 95% of guys would "accept" a gay teammate, and I think that same amount would respect someone who comes out, but that's neither here nor there. The real question should be whether or not they'd accept for who they are and not what they are. And that answer is a lot more touch and go. There's good guys and there's bad guys. It's not uniform. Some locker rooms will be better than others. 

Paul72
Paul72

this is one issue that the commish has virtually no influence over.  the only thing he or the league can do is punish anyone who openly condemn a gay player--which is obviously what he's getting at.  lets be honest, a lot of these players come from backgrounds that aren't exactly accepting of gays.  and while there have been a few very vocal, courageous i'd even say, advocates of gays the fact is a significant  fraction of players in the league probably would not accept an openly gay player.  it's dumb because there's undoubtedly gay players in the league, but it is what it is.

mifunefan
mifunefan

As for the Tebow comparisons, for a gay player to be as ostentatiously "gay" as Tebow is ostentatiously "Christian"  he would have to have sex with another man on field during a game.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

The more grossly archaic Judeo-Christian values are going the way of the dinosaur, which is, of course, right and proper.  30 years ago, a headline like this from the NFL commissioner would've been absolutely unimaginable.  Now no one really blinks an eye, because it's the expected thing for him to say.  30 years may seem like a long time to an individual, but on the more historically relevant macro-level scale it's effectively an eye-blink interval.  

 

Criticism for Goodell on other matters aside, in principle this sort of thing sure does make me satisfied to be an American.  In stark contrast, the sporting culture in Europe is still a long way off from being truly socially enlightened enough that Goodell's administrative equivalent (e.g. FIFA's Sepp Blatter, UEFA's Platini, etc.) would come out and emphatically clarify this sort of stance on the issue.

jmsheehan21
jmsheehan21

Will the NFL also accept born again Christians or will they allow them to be harassed and vilified a la Tebow?

RCH
RCH

I'll agree to that as long as I don't have to tolerate or accept Roger Goodell

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@JrJoseHerrera

He's married happily to a woman several times more attractive than anything you'll ever be allowed to touch.  

 

You jelly, bro?

 

Loki
Loki

 @Mike72gay people are the only one's that worry about the sexual orientation of other guys...so, Mike, your concern suggests that you are gay because it matters to you on a seemingly personal level....

 

matt37
matt37

 @Mike72 Yeah, too bad for you you've watched gays every day of your life in a variety of shapes and forms.  School, work, life, sports.......you're surrounded by gays. 

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@Mike72

Thankfully, backward primitives like you are going extinct.

 

Do the gene pool a favor and don't procreate, thanks.

 

Paul72
Paul72

 @101flyboy  your statement is intentionally obfuscating things, i think.  what exactly are you trying to say?

Loki
Loki

 @Paul72he offered an opinion of what he thinks will happen...he didn't make a rule or try to dictate anything to anyone...

 

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

 @Paul72 One step at a time, dude.  So long as the steps do keep coming at regularly intervals... and in this case, they are.

Loki
Loki

 @mifunefanThere are gay players that have proven they belong on the field in the NFL...Tebow hasn't...

 

matt37
matt37

 @mifunefan HA HA HA!  What would that version of "Tebowing" be?  Te-Blowing?  (Too soon?)

Paul72
Paul72

 @leehwgoc wow, you sound smart.  honestly.  not talking trash.

Loki
Loki

 @jmsheehan21I have found that christians tend to cry oppression when their bigotry gets called out and put in the spotlight....that's like a murderer crying foul at having to spend time in prison for murder...

 

Jon Trexler
Jon Trexler

 @jmsheehan21 Saying Tebow got harassed for his beliefs is like saying Ray Lewis got harassed during SB weeks for his playmaking ability and Vikings Favre got harassed for making good decisions in the pocket.

 

All three got harassed because people got sick of the media coverage.

matt37
matt37

 @jmsheehan21 The only reason Christians think Tebow is "harassed" is because he gets an inordinate amount of time in the public eye.  Hewasn't getting harassed when no one knew who he was.  The harassment is (for the most part) backlash by people who are tired of all the attention going to a guy who has demonstrated that he's not worthy of being an NFL QB.  And cry me a river.  83% of the US is Christian.  The number in the NFL is similarly high.  I don't see it being a problem for ANYONE else.  Are you one of those people that thinks because gays, women and minorities are achieving a higher level of equality that Christian White Males must be suffering?  Get a grip.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

 @jmsheehan21 Only a segment of fans do that.  The broader reality is that Tebow has been and continues to be highly popular with much larger segments of society.  

 

Forbes didn't name Tebow their most influential athlete because everyone hates him.

Paul72
Paul72

 @jmsheehan21 oh nice try.  you're one of those christians that cries persecution at every turn aren't you?  tebow was never "vilified" for his faith or ANYTHING.  he was, however, trashed for his QB skills and the media frenzy that followed him where ever he went.

Loki
Loki

 @leehwgoc  @JrJoseHerreraremember that republican politician that was arrested for soliciting sex in a men's bathroom at an airport? He was married and had 2 or 3 kids....

 

Loki
Loki

 @leehwgoc  @JrJoseHerreraso have many politicians with children....that doesn't mean they aren't gay...it means they are in the closet, on the down low, etc...

 

Mike26
Mike26

 @Loki  @Mike72 Is there anything in life that indicates straightness - you know, like there's seemingly so many things out there that scream you're "GAY"!?

Mike72
Mike72

 @matt37  @Mike72Yes , but it doesnt bother me if I dont know it. Soon as they start flanting it is when no one wants to see it.

 

101flyboy
101flyboy

 @Paul72 Guys would be OK with a gay teammate but they aren't going to be in a rush to embrace homosexuality, talk about his boyfriend nor will the locker room dynamics change. It's basically like, OK, another teammate, he happens to be gay. Whatever. 

matt37
matt37

 @Mike72 So you're tolerant of things that are different from you.......as long as you don't ever have to see it, hear about it, think about it or consider it.  I other words, we're all free to do as we please, as long as we live our lives in secret.  I'd say it bothers you quite a bit.

matt37
matt37

 @Mike72  @matt37 Who's flaunting it?  I didn't see Collins boning anybody in the bleachers.  And funny, he just spent a decade in the league and no one knew it, so I'm not sure where you're worried about "flaunting it".  If you mean he can't even admit, then that's your bad.  And be realistic; if this guy tried to be on the downlow and "private" about it with his friends or teammates, it would have been a public firestorm, reporters camped at his house, fans screaming at him, etc.  He controlled the situation.  Good for him.

matt37
matt37

 @101flyboy  @Paul72 I love Sir Charles!  I missed the Civil Rights movement, but I wonder if this was similar.  You know, being "the black guy" in the locker room.  And eventually, the locker room realizes "eh, he's just a dude.  whether he's an a-hole or a good guy, he's just a dude.  if he can swing the bat, he's got a place."

101flyboy
101flyboy

 @matt37  @Paul72 Charles Barkley has always gotten it. His comments, POV on this subject are really refreshing. He puts it so cut and dry and that's because that is exactly what this is. 

101flyboy
101flyboy

@Paul72

 I agree that a gay player wouldn't broach those topics but that's why I put accept in parenthesis. A gay player on the team would be a gay player on the team, but he would be THE gay player on the team. I won't necessarily say he'd be outcast but the dynamics of the locker room are so heterosexually-oriented (of course, b/c so far no-one in recent times has publicly come out while active on a roster) it would be almost like living a double life. His homosexuality would be completely removed from the workplace, but that's not how it is for heterosexual players. I'd be very surprised if it were different and his sexuality was not just given an OK or given an ignore and he was actually truly embraced as gay. Actually I think gay players wouldn't want that, either. 

 

You're exactly right about the misnomer that gay=sex with any guy you see. Standards are standards and just because a guy is gay doesn't mean he lacks them or doesn't have respect for others :)

 

matt37
matt37

 @Paul72  @101flyboy I love a point Sir Charles made when talking about Collins.  He said "he's been a gay dude in the locker room for 10+ years and it's never been a problem.  Why's it a problem now that you know who he sleeps with?"

Paul72
Paul72

 @101flyboy well i agree with that.  but i don't think a gay guy on the team would broach such topics in the first place...he's gay not an idiot (ok he might be an idiot)  ;)i think what a lot of homophobes think of when they think "gay" is games of grabass and inappropriate leering and stuff, when really all you get is a guy that likes d!ck but probably isn't interested in yours.

J J
J J

 @matt37  @mifunefan Both of you , well played!

 

I support gay rights and all, and I don't think there will be a major problem when someone does come out, but still, those are two funny posts.