A PLAN FOR the first openly gay NFL player to come out fell apart at the last minute in June, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reports.
The player was a free agent. The team he was planning on signing with, as well as its coaches, knew he was gay. He was going to come out in June so the attention would die down before training camp.
According to Freeman’s account, the team initially gave a “definitive yes” to signing the player, but backed out in May.
From Freeman: “So after lots of talk of a gay NFL player coming out, the talk disappeared. Because NFL teams, in the end, got cold feet. It’s that simple.”
There was also a “well-known defensive back” who was ready to sign with a team that knew he was gay. But the team backed out as well, saying he wanted too much money. Neither player has been signed as of Week 11.
It’s unclear exactly why the team got cold feet. Freeman reports that the player told a teammate that they were ultimately scared of the media attention in the wake of the Jason Collins story.
Regardless, it’s a frustrating story that shows how apprehensive the league is to embrace its gay players.