Last week, the media was rampant with rumors that as many as four NFL players were getting ready to announce they were gay. That would make them the first members of a major US pro team to come out of the closet while playing. The story began with Brendan Ayanbadejo, who earned a Super Bowl ring this year with the Baltimore Ravens, giving a couple of interviews and suggesting that such an announcement was imminent. Ayanbadejo is straight, but has been an active spokesman for equal rights for gays and lesbians.
On my America Weekend show, I discussed all this with Michael O’Keeffe, sportswriter for the NY Daily News. We talked about whether the stories are true, what it would take to be the gay equivalent of Jackie Robinson, whether this kind of speculation is good for players who are gay but haven’t come out, whether it would be tougher to come out in the NFL than in other sports, and the generational nature of the whole question.
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